A Passage To India (1984)


pti“My dear, life rarely gives us what we want at the moment we consider appropriate. Adventures do occur, but not punctually.” – Mrs. Moore

Number of Times Seen –  1 (3 Oct 2013)

Brief Synopsis – A young British woman and her future mother-in-law travel to India to be withe her fiancee who is a magistrate for the British Empire

My Take on it – David Lean’s Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) is one of my favorite movies of all time.  His films Lawrence of Arabia (1962) and Doctor Zhivago (1965) were both also expertly filmed, so I have been looking forward for quite some time to see his final epic movie.

This movie was definitely done in Lean Epic style and the cinematography, music and other technical categories are all done according to what one would expect from a director like Lean.

The problem here is the story.  It is too uneven that during the first hour, I was bored to death and didn’t care at all what would happen to any of the characters.  Only a bit after the 70 minute mark did the movie start to pick up speed when a trial begins.  The trial tho is very interesting but too choppy.  It seems that Lean tried to rush the trial scenes too much.

This movie clocks in at 2:45 minutes which normally would be too much, but towards the end, I wanted it to continue and give me more info about the characters and their stories.  At the end, I had a better understanding as to why Lean spent the first 70 minutes boring us with what turns out to be important background information on all the characters involved.

I am truly glad that I didn’t turn this one off during (what I thought was) the early boring parts.

I wonder if the book that this movie is based on by E.M. Forster is less lopsided and gives the reader more to yearn for at the beginning and not just at the end.

Stellar British cast led by Judy Davis, Peggy Ashcroft, James Fox, Victor Banerjee and Alec Guinness

Nominated for 11 Oscars, but only managed to win 2 against juggernaut Amadeus (which won 8).  It won Best Music and Best supporting actress for Peggy Ashcroft.

Bottom Line – Not as good as I’d hoped, but definitely Epically done by Lean. Second half is stronger than the first half. Recommended

Rating – Globe Worthy

9 thoughts on “A Passage To India (1984)

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