theburkenation’s review published on Letterboxd:
While The Unvanquished is a great film, I wasn't able to connect with it in quite the same way as Pather Panchali. Maybe some of the wonder of the first film wore off (which might be the point as this movie deals with adolescence and the teenage years) or maybe because I watched these films back to back, the use of family death as character growth felt cliché. I do have to say the first act is very stilted, but I am glad I stuck with it.
Now with all my gripes out of the way, I can talk about what I liked! I liked a lot of it! I loved seeing Apu grow and change while still interacting with the world around him in mostly the same way. I loved his relationship with his mother, and her characterization is the strongest in the film. I loved how education and the city were contrasted with the countryside. I loved the way trains were used. The soundtrack still slaps too!
For me at least, the message I got from Aparajito was that you have to get comfortable being by yourself or perish. No matter how excellent life gets, tragedy will happen, and you can't let that bring you down. I enjoyed this movie a lot, and the craftsmanship that went into making it is very apparent.