The third part of the Bengali saga continues the story of Apu, now a young man living in Calcutta and dreaming of a literary career and a positive future. An old friend invites him to a village wedding. When the marriage is called off due to the bridegroom's illness, Apu is asked to marry the girl in order to spare her the traditional ill-luck of a v/aiting bride. Though horrified by these ancient superstitions Apu agrees, and returns to Calcutta with his bride. Slowly and miraculously a bond of love grows between them and Apu begins to work again. Suddenly a tragedy robs him of his wife; lost in despair, he destroys his writings and wanders disconsolately around the countryside. One day, his friend finds him and urges him to go back to the young son he has never seen. Apu decides to return and win his son's affection.
The poetic beauty of the first two films is present here also, and there is a maturity not merely of outlook, but of expression, and the sensitive handling of the characters makes many of the sequences unforgettable. The total impression it creates is of a profound emotional realism unequalled in the Indian cinema, and seldom found elsewhere.