CITY OF JOY is the story of a dispirited American doctor (Patrick Swayze), a British woman who runs a clinic for the poor, and an Indian couple ? all of whose lives come together in perhaps the most impoverished place on e... more »arth, the section of Calcutta known as the CITY OF JOY. Directed by Roland Joffe (The Mission, The Killing Fields, The Scarlett Letter).« less
Irma S. from MOUNT ANGEL, OR Reviewed on 8/27/2013...
I enjoyed this DVD very much and highly recommend it! It is a great movie for helping you to see how others in this world have to live and help you to think of others and how you can be a blessing to them.
Many better options than this
Johnny Na | Chicago, IL | 05/25/2004
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I read the book, have seen the movie and have visited Kolkata. I'm troubled by the book and the movie. I felt the book trivialized poverty and made a sentimental treatment of it. This is because it was viewed through the eyes of a Catholic priest and he was taking voluntary poverty. Poverty is another matter when you have children, live in bone crushing poverty and have fewer choices available to you. (Yet Kolkata is a city of miracles in that the poorest can often find a place and a way to survive there.)
I don't think the movie came close to showing the culture of Kolkata's poor. It was very much a westernized gloss and it definitely pulled punches. Consider just one important cultural element: India has many great musicians who have produced centuries of beautiful music. But this film sticks us with an entirely western score.
I am in love with this region and so was drawn to read the book and see the film. But if you want to see a film about this part of the world, see anything by Satyajit Ray, Mrinal Sen or Shyam Benegal.
In particular, Satyajit Ray - Apu Trilogy or Two Daughters. Although more modern and middle class, Aguntuk (The Stranger) is also a much better film."
Brilliant and Uplifting Film
G. Jennings | Outside | 02/21/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've always been a fan of Patrick Swayze, and this is his best role to date. Om Puri, another brilliant actor, went from Indian movie star to International Superstar beautifully acting out the part of a humble yet dignified Rickshaw driver. And any movie that has Om Puri starring in it is sure to be a classic.
This is a wonderful tale about two separate lives who cross paths in the Calcutta slums. One is about Hasari Pal who moves his family from his village in search of work in the city to pay off the money-lenders and to make enough money for his daughter's marriage dowry. The other is about a disillusioned American surgeon, Max Lowe, who quits his practice after a patient dies on his operating table. He runs away to India for some soul searching.
The trip is no so easy affair when Max gets mugged and Hasari brings him to a free clinic being run by an Irish Nurse in the slums. While still trying to come to grips with his own demons, Max begins to involve himself with the clinic and its neighbors, soon coming face to face with the oppressive "godfather" of the community. Max encourages the neighbors to stand up for themeselves. Hasari, whose livlihood depends on the godfather, is reluctant to protest until events begin to spin out of control. Before long, a humble quiet rickshaw driver becomes the town hero.
What I like most about this movie is that Om Puri is the central character, not Patrick Swayze. It is almost too easy make the western foreigner save the day. Patrick Swayze does a brilliant job depicting this balance by allowing his character's hot-blooded, American nature to boil to the surface. In instances where Max is directly involved, the situation only becomes worse, and Max realizes his rough and tumble ways are only short-lived producing little effect. So Max inspires the townspeople to unite against the godfather, and they learn on their own that they can make a difference.
City of Joy has always been at the top of my list as one of my favorite films. A true treasure to watch."
A Good Film
G. Jennings | 06/14/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Of course no Patrick Swayze film could ever compare with a wonderful book, still City of Joy has much to offer. I grew up in a city just out of Calcutta and found the movie to be very true to the culture and everyday life I experienced there. Poverty is difficult to portray from a developed country's point of view without becoming self-righteous, but nowhere in the movie do the foreigners propose to change the state of the city. The two characters(Patrick Swayze and Pauline Collins) are there because they want to be and to lend a hand when needed. The cast of Indian characters(Um Puri in particular)is especially good. All of the actors possess great human qualities that makes them easy to connect with and likable. Although these people live in squalor, they have a joie de vivre that keeps the tone from being one of despair. This film is simply a slice of life that doesn't try to prove anything. I highly recommend seeing the film AS WELL AS reading the book."
Apt title,"City of Joy"
E Johnson | Omaha, Nebraska | 01/08/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Lately I've been watching so many of Patrick Swayze's movies. He is really a great artist with many distinguished talents. I am amazed. He seems to always do movies that have heart. I'm not sure what the well known think we want to see in a movie, but I'm so glad I cannot take their reviews to heart to the point that it keeps me away from movies that are good. Patrick was living in a city that had a lot to offer, the best medical equipment, but losing a child along with other pressures, he felt he needed to escape; yet life's problems seems to be every where. He ends up in a place called the "City of Joy",that looks hopeless. Among destitution and crime he finds meaning again and peace worth staying and fighting for. A great job, can't wait for movies made for the year "2000"."
I liked this film a lot
Rebecca Yoder | Iowa City, IA USA | 01/23/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Probably because Patrick Swayze is so sexy, and also because he gave a good performance, and the film was too overlooked, and it was a good story, and I liked getting something of a feel for Indian culture. But Swayze was probably the main factor."