Saturday, June 14, 2008

A bit of a chocolate box


Reviewer 1 (3 out of 5 stars) concedes that Rains 'falls short of a great movie', but despite a few flaws would 'recommend it to friends', adding:

[...] The imagery is there, the actors are competent [and] the usage of nature in the movie is compelling. It casts a magical spell that takes hold of the viewer and lingers in her mind long after she has left the theatre. [...]

Reviewer 2 (4 stars) considers the movie 'beautiful' and describes it thus:

[...] This is a film for those who really appreciate the craft of films. I kept marveling at how expertly suspense was created by the slow revelation of fact after fact, each in a fully dramatized scene, until the audience just knew all hell was about to break loose. The script was great, the cinematography fabulous. I would have enjoyed a bit more passion from both main characters - more of her desperation at being caught in a loveless marriage, and more from him on why he'd do such a brainless thing. Still there was enough to keep me riveted to the screen. I enjoyed the symbology, too. Shows what a master filmmaker can do with a simple but powerful plot. [...]

In a similar vein, Reviewer 3 (5 stars) calls Rains 'a gift to art lovers':

[...] The sceneries are absolutely amazing. The lush green forests, mountains with clouds and stunning waterfall all are spectacular. Certainly, director/photographer Sivan did an outstanding job. Some of the details...are quite well done. The performances/cast by all the actors is superb - Linus Roache and Rahul Bose's acting "by expressions" gives a distinct touch to the story...where in many scenes there were so many things unsaid. I've no doubt this movie will do quite well in both worlds. [...]

From the professionals:

  • George Lang of NewsOK left the film with happy thoughts:
[...] "Before the Rains” boasts beautiful, believable performances from Das and Bose ... [the film] works as a piece of high-class melodrama, and Sivan infuses his film with his country's exotic natural beauty. The film continues the Merchant/Ivory tradition of stylishly documenting the stodgy pageantry of the day and the decadence that took place under the mosquito netting at night. [...]
  • Similarly, Bob Hoover of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette refers to the film as 'a stunningly photographed melodrama' deciding it constitutes 'great looking cinema':

[...] "Before the Rains" is a handsome potboiler, made with sensitivity for the culture and struggle of the Indian people against British colonialism. [...]

He is however a little critical of Sivan's work with Linus Roache and Jennifer Ehle.

  • The less-than-enthused Al Hoff of the Pittsburgh City Paper provides the unpleasantly-filled truffle in the chocolate box.
  • Interview wise, IndiaGlitz talk to Rahul Bose about Rains, rugby and arthroscopies, while Canadians might be interested to know that Toronto's Now magazine are running a competition (ending Sunday, 11pm) to win 'advance screening passes' for the film.


  • Going back in time, you may remember that ages ago PBS Masterpiece asked for questions to put to the lovely Pride and Prejudice screenwriter Andrew Davies. Responses to the top 10 are now up for your perusal. But firstly, about the responses they received, PBS said:
[...] When Masterpiece gave fans an opportunity to ask Davies anything, hundreds of questions poured in, from the matter-of-fact ("What do you think Jane Austen thought of card playing?") to the highly amusing ("Do you know if Jennifer Ehle has an e-mail address?") [...]

Unsurprisingly, the latter was not chosen, but here are two P&P-related enquiries that made the final ten:


Question: "Is there anything, in any adaptation, that you wished you had done differently?"
Davies' answer: "The only one I can think of at the moment is Darcy's second and successful proposal in Pride and Prejudice. Too much walking, not enough tender looks, not enough passion."

Question: "In the adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, the movie seems to follow the book pretty closely until the end, when the tension of Elizabeth telling her mother about her engagement and her beginning life at Pemberly [sic] was left out. Was this a conscious decision to leave out these parts?"
Davies' answer: "Absolutely. There is pleasure in reading a novel and seeing how all the little details get worked out, but in a drama, once the audience can sense the ending coming, I like to wrap it all up pretty quickly."


  • ThisIsLondon meanwhile expand on Wednesday's insights into the real Mr Darcy. (Ladies, brace yourselves if you have yet to see the accompanying picture.)


  • Penultimately, we wish the best of luck to the many multi-talented ex-Utopians under the spotlight for tomorrow's Tonys.


  • As you are probably aware, we are still awaiting news on this front, although yesterday's cast announcement regarding another of the Donmar's plays (also beginning September) suggests news, either way, is in the offing.

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