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In Custody - The Merchant Ivory Collection
In Custody - The Merchant Ivory Collection
Actors: Shashi Kapoor, Shabana Azmi, Om Puri, Sushma Seth, Neena Gupta
Director: Ismail Merchant
Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy, Drama
PG     2005     2hr 6min

Based on the Booker Prize-nominated novel by Anita Desai, In Custody?producer Ismail Merchant?s directorial debut?is a wry, lyrical drama about the contemporary Indian culture. Nur (Shashi Kapoor) is considered the greates...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Shashi Kapoor, Shabana Azmi, Om Puri, Sushma Seth, Neena Gupta
Director: Ismail Merchant
Creators: Larry Pizer, Roberto Silvi, Donald Rosenfeld, Paul Bradley, Wahid Chowhan, Anita Desai, Shahrukh Husain
Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy, Drama
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy, Drama
Studio: Merchant Ivory
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Closed-captioned,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 04/19/2005
Release Year: 2005
Run Time: 2hr 6min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 3
MPAA Rating: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Languages: Hindi, Urdu
Subtitles: English

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Movie Reviews

An excellent film -- disregard Leonard Maltin
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This film tells a simple, at times poignant tale with gentle humor, and without needless melodrama. The acting by Shashi Kapoor, Om Puri and Shabana Azmi is superlative. I just wish that the director had shown us more of the atmosphere of Bhopal, where the film is set.I would highly recommend this movie."
Could have been better
M. Desai | 01/31/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I'm slightly disappointed with the movie. This movie will be hard for most foreigners to appreciate. First of, this movie for most part in Urdu, one of the most melliflous and poetic language ever. Secondly, the setting is so Indian, it escapes a foreign viewer the cultural ethos of the country. However, the essence of the movie is simply 'human'. For all its cinematic shortcomings, this movie genuinely tries to explore the human indifference and shifting cultural values.Deven (Om Puri) is a Hindi professor who was sent to interview a great poet, who is past his prime. He is obscurely important to the fading culture once patronized by kings and nawabs. The poet Nur Shahjehanabdi (Shashi Kapoor) is blissfully removed from day to day to reality and dwells on the bygone mystique of chaste Urdu poetry. He is accompanied by a circle of sycophants, who in all reality wants nothing more than free food and drink, whose condasance is mistaken by the poet to be genuine platitudes. Added to his woes are his polygamy and the two wives who live with him. Amidst all these the real story somehow is reduced to a sub plot.This is where director Ismail Merchant fails to indulge his audience in his movie. The whole exercise of Deven, trying to get an interview from this great poet is a meandering tale sort of black comedy of errors. Although most characters are beleivable, director does not let them develop fully. The role of Shabana Azmi as the poet's dominating second wife is basically overbearing. The other peripheral characters such as Murad Beg, Mr. Siddiqui played respectively by Tinnu Anand and Parikshat Sahni are quite good.Overall, I walked away from the movie with a genuine appreciation for Mr. Merchant's effort. Frankly, I didn't care much for the movie after a point. If not for the Urdu spoken in the film and the fond memories of a mushiara, the movie doesnt quite add up. But, I'm a romatic fool and chaste urdu suffices for me."
Disregard Maltin - this is well worth seeing.
M. Desai | 08/02/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"While it's a little slow moving at times, this film is beautifully written and has a wonderful cast. There's a lot of gentle humor and some wonderful scenes such as the poetry concert, and Om Puri's hapless attempts at recording Shashi Kapoor. Kapoor has really put on the pounds, but he's quite a presence in this. Stick with it and it will reward you with a very moving ending. This was one of my favourite films the year it came out and I've seen it a couple of items since then."
Om puri should get an oscar just for being om puri
M. Desai | 11/18/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"the viewer is right disregard leonard, who has given 4 stars to too many mediocre movies in the past and seems to be judgeing movies without watching them. watch this movie, it is excellant, but only if you like drama. om puri, the greatest actor India has ever produced, and who was robbed of an oscar nomination for CITY OF JOY, is sensational once again, the movie overall is very enjoyable and moving and also quite fun.DO WATCH IT."