The film’s setting is truly beautiful. This is the second film I’ve watched this week set in a Jiapur hotel (The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel) and I’d happily watch another two. The scenery and cityscape is that beautiful. The film also features beautiful music and dancing and in my mind the worlds most beautiful actress, Freida Pinto. The film successfully transports the social themes that are present in Hardy’s novel to modern day Rajasthan as many of the themes of class, sexual taboo, exploitation and a deep gap between rich and poor are still common place in 21st Century
The film has a good stab and at least looking at some of those themes and its
two characters’ are well written to deal with them. India
Riz Ahmed, perhaps most famous for his role in Four Lions but who I first discovered as a rapper (Video Here) is excellent. He is believable as the rich English-Indian in the first two acts but his gradual transformation to something more sinister is even more successful. He does it very subtly while the audience are still rooting for him. Freida Pinto is even better. This is definitely her film. She is thoroughly convincing as a poor Indian villager who is wowed by the trappings of Western riches and manages to maintain her shy victim like persona even when she isn’t. The hurt she shows towards the end of the film is felt by the whole audience and her last few scenes are shocking but she pulls it off well. Her only downfall unfortunately is her looks. When sat in a peasant house is rural Rajasthan she does stick out a bit, but you can’t really hold that against her.
The film is a successful translation of a popular and frequently adapted literary source. Both actors are great and you feel like their relationship is real and not just on screen. The film looks beautiful and manages to get across both modern and traditional
’s successes and failures. I
really enjoyed it. India