Sunday, August 10, 2008


That Fine Actress
  • The Independent offers an interesting take on celebrity casting in an article about David Tennant, star of the RSC's Hamlet. Here is the relevant bit:
    [...] He is a tried and tested actor and was with the RSC before becoming a television star. But let's be honest. It's pretty unlikely that the RSC would have suddenly plucked him out of the ranks of the country's actors to play Hamlet if he had not acquired a national reputation as Doctor Who. TV stardom played a big part in this casting decision. These decisions can be slightly trickier than they seem. They don't always guarantee the packed houses that Tennant's Hamlet has achieved. In 1995, just after the BBC's massively popular Pride and Prejudice, the RSC brought the screen's Elizabeth Bennet, that fine actress Jennifer Ehle, also RSC-trained, back to Stratford to star in John Vanbrugh's Restoration comedy The Relapse. It most certainly did not sell out. [...]
"Into each life some Rain must fall"
  • Two more "Reader Reviews" of Before the Rains have been posted at the New York Times. While one reviewer feels that "Merchant Ivory really struck out" with this movie, the other claims, "it's an excellent film for a discerning audience." This discerning reviewer further asserts:
    Bored by gratuitous violence, far-fetched stories and insulting comedy, I found it refreshing to find a film this week that focused on beautiful cinematography, breathless settings, moral conflict, and depth of character. The dilemma created by lust and lack of judgment was expertly portrayed by Linus Roache as Henry Moores, English spice grower. Mr. Roache's role was supplemented superbly by the performance of his assistant when inner conflict is thrust upon a man because of indiscretions carried out by his boss and role model in the midst of the strict moral code of his native culture. All actors did an excellent job of bringing life to the tragic characters struggling to resolve an unresolvable situation. This is a film for an aficionado of quality.
    Note that the average Reader Rating is still 4/5 stars = woot!

  • I think it's safe to say that it wasn't love at first sight for the Irish Times and Before the Rains, but on the bright side, you can read an enthusiastic account of the movie from a member of our very own fan community by visiting the Chat Extension.

  • Musically speaking, there is a somewhat mixed review of the film's soundtrack at Popmatters. It starts off nicely:
    [...] With its exotic mix of ethnic sounds, tone poem pieces, and standard symphonics, what could be a tired bit of traditionalism actually comes across as exciting and quite evocative. [...]
    But ends with this assessment:
    [...] Where once we had music that dared to combine the elements of all environs, the finish (except for tracks “Coming for TK” and “End Credits") is devoid of such out of the ordinary flourishes.

Directors and Co-stars

  • According to Buzz18, Santosh Sivan's latest film, the interestingly titled Tahaan - A Boy with a Grenade, starring Rahul Bose, is slated to be released in September.

  • There's also an article about Linus Roache in the Knoxville News Sentinel that includes some quotage about Before the Rains:

    [...] " 'Before the Rains' was, I think, the most unique and creative experience I've ever had making a movie," says Roache, 44. "That was a small-budget movie, but it was such an extraordinary situation and circumstance with a creative-genius director and being in Kerala, India."

    . . .

    "Henry was … a pioneering spirit," says Roach by phone from New York. "He wanted it all and didn't think of the consequences and created a huge mess. That's where the drama lay.

    "I didn't realize what a great role it was till I started playing it. He's not a hero character at all. Part of the challenge was to make him human and accessible without watering him down." [...]

Reflecting on P&P

  • For an engaging read on the meaning and use of mirrors in several Jane Austen movies, visit Ellen Moody's website.

Happy Olympics, everyone!

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