Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Heat and Dust / Autobiography of a Princess - The Merchant Ivory Collection|
Actors: Julie Christie, Greta Scacchi, Shashi Kapoor, Susan Fleetwood, Christopher Cazenove
Director: James Ivory
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
Studio: Image Entertainment Release Date: 08/02/2005 Run time: 131 minutes
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THE HEAT OF THE ROMANCE...THE DUST OF ITS ASHES...
Lawyeraau | Balmoral Castle | 04/21/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This 1982 Merchant Ivory production is a lush, atmospheric period piece based upon the well written book of the same name by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, who also wrote the screenplay for this film. Set in two distinct eras, colonial India of the nineteen twenties, during the time of the Raj, and the independent, freewheeling India of the early nineteen eighties, during the time when India was a mecca for disenfranchised youth, it explores Anglo-Indian relations through the power of romance. This is subtley done through the story of two women.One story is that of Olivia (Greta Scacchi), the young and beautiful wife of Douglas Rivers (Christopher Casenove), a minor district official in colonial India. The film tells of her arrival in India, newly wed and in love with her husband, her subsequent boredom with the staid, British Colonial community, and her blossoming infatuation with the Nawab (Shashi Kapoor), a very handsome and charming, local Indian prince. It is her romance with the Nawab that is to result in a life changing action, one that would forever cause a permanent rift with Douglas, changing her life forever. The second story is that of Anne (Julie Christie), a beautiful and independent woman, a descendant of Olivia's sister. Nearly sixty years after Olivia's transgression, fascinated by the story of the deceased Olivia, Anne goes to India, visiting those locations where Olivia had lived and those which would have been a part of her existence at the time. As did Olivia, she falls under India's spell. As did Olivia, she, too, has an Anglo-Indian love affair. Hers is with her landlord, Inder Lal (Zakir Hussain). Anne's life essentially picks up where the thread of Olivia's life left off, giving the viewer a powerful sense of de-ja vu and a suggestion of reincarnation. This film is a beguiling story of two women from two different generations who come under the spell of India. It is is evocative of British colonial India, as well as of India of the early nineteen eighties. During both eras, Anglo-Indian relations are pivotal to the budding romances and the film is evocative of the rythyms of Indian life in all its richness and tumultuousness, as well as its lingering poverty and superstitions. Redolent of a time gone by, it is also an interesting dichotomy of the good and bad in both cultures, Anglo and Indian, and the influence that both cultures have on these two women, who are so different, yet so alike.Julie Christie is perfect as the thoroughly modern, beautiful, free thinking, young woman who retraces her ancestor's footsteps. Greta Scacchi, in her introductory film role, is luminous as the lovely Olivia, a woman who did not let prejudice and narrow mindedness blind her to the charms of India, its people and its culture. Shashi Kapoor is perfectly cast as the handsome Indian Prince, whose veneer of culture and sophistication belies an injured pride, chafing under British colonialism. While the role of Inder Lal is well played by Zakir Hussain, there does not appear to be much chemistry between him and Julie Christie, in contrast to the smoldering chemistry there is between Scacchi and Kapoor. The seeming lack of chmistry btween Hussain and Christie is the one weakness in this film. The film, one of the earlier Merchant Ivory productions, is beautifully shot. Gorgeous period costumes contribute to the sense of a time gone by. While the story bounces along between the past and the present, it is effectively done, as one sees the transformation of the past to its present. This is a film that will appeal to those who love period dramas, as well as those who simply love a good, entertaining story. Unfortunately, it is no longer available in video. It is, however, deserving of having its print transfered to DVD, as it is a film well worth having in one's collection."
Ocean Dweller | San Francisco, CA United States | 07/24/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I watched the movie almost twenty years back on Indian TV and was entranced by the romance of British India. I then ordered it on UK Amazon site, bought a code free DVD player, just to watch this movie. This is one of those rare instances when the movie is far better than the book. May be that has to do with the fact that the author was also the script writer. The cinematography is incomparable. The backbone of the story is the beautiful Greta Scachchi and her romance with an Indian prince."
Heat & Dust
Jeanine Martin | Trinidad, CA USA | 10/23/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This beautifully crafted film, largely set in India during two time periods, was referred to as a "sleeper" shortly after its release. In my opinion, it should have won an Oscar. The sets and costuming were beautiful, but most interesting was the story itself. Two women, having similar experiences in India sixty years apart. It ended with the subtle suggestion of reincarnation. Just beautiful. I've been attempting to purchase the video for two years now, to no avail. Why are the producers/studio not reissuing this outstanding film on video? I do hope this changes soon."
Heat And Dust
Parvez Ahmad | Akron, OH United States | 02/04/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This film should have an Oscar. Breathtaking and carefully crafted one of the best films I have seen. The film very cleverley shows the end of British as well as the end of Old mughal Nawabs in northern India. Though muslims by faith, the Nawabs or the Princes were far away from their faith and beliefs. It was an eye opener for me as well which explains the fact that such a great Mughal Empire just crumbled within a century."