His films are a rare blend of intellect and emotions. There is a precise studied control in his films, yet he succeeds in evoking deep emotional responses from his audience. Despite the acute sensitivity of his films, there is a noticeable lack of melodrama.
From 1962 onwards, he composed the music for all his films, and designed the publicity posters for his new releases. Satyajit Ray’s films are cinematic and literary at the same time; using a simple narrative, usually in a classical format, but greatly detailed and operating at many levels of interpretation. His first film, Father Panchali established him as a major film director, winning awards – Best Human Document, Cannes, 1956 and Best Film, Vancouver, 1958.
His later films include Devi (The Goddess, 1960), TeenKanya (Three Daughters, 1961), Charulata (The Lonely Wife, 1964), Nayak (The Hero, 1966), AsaniSmht (Distant Thunder, 1973), Shatranj Ke Khilari (The Chess Players, 1977), Ghare Baire (The Home and the World, 1984), Ganasbatru (An Enemy Of The People, 1989) and Sbakba Prashakha (Branches Of The Tree, 1991). Acjantuk (The Stranger, 1991) was his last film.
While shooting, Ghare-Baire (Home and the World) in 1984, he suffered two heart attacks and his son, Sandip Ray, completed the project. Ill health kept Satyajit Ray away from active filmmaking for about four years. In 1989, he resumed taking films with Ganaslmti-u (Enemy of the People, 1989).
Many film critics and film historians found these films a marked departure from his earlier work. In 1992, he accepted a Lifetime Achievement Oscar from his sickbed in Calcutta through a special live satellite-television event and Bharat Kama (the Jewel, the ultimate honour from India.