Passage to India

Passage to India

3.7 7
Director: David Lean

Cast: David Lean, Judy Davis, Victor Banerjee, Peggy Ashcroft

     
 

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A Passage to India, director David Lean's final film (for which he also received editing credit), breaks no new ground cinematically, but remains an exquisitely assembled harkback to such earlier Lean epics as Doctor Zhivago and Ryan's Daughter. Based on the novel by E. M. Forster, the film is set in colonial India in 1924. Adela Quested (JudySee more details below

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Overview

A Passage to India, director David Lean's final film (for which he also received editing credit), breaks no new ground cinematically, but remains an exquisitely assembled harkback to such earlier Lean epics as Doctor Zhivago and Ryan's Daughter. Based on the novel by E. M. Forster, the film is set in colonial India in 1924. Adela Quested (Judy Davis), a sheltered, well-educated British woman, arrives in the town of Chandrapore, where she hopes to experience "the real India." Here she meets and befriends Dr. Aziz (Victor Banerjee), who, despite longstanding racial and social taboos, moves with relative ease and freedom amongst highborn British circles. Feeling comfortable with Adela, Aziz invites her to accompany him on a visit to the Marabar caves. Adela has previously exhibited bizarre, almost mystical behavior during other ventures into the Indian wilderness: this time, she emerges from the caves showing signs of injury and ill usage. To Aziz' horror, he is accused by Adela of raping her. Typically, the British ruling class rallies to Adela's defense, virtually convicting Aziz before the trial ever begins. Though he is eventually acquitted due to lack of evidence (in fact, director Lean never shows us what really happened), Aziz is ruined in the eyes of both the British and his own people-as is Adela. Woven into these proceedings is a subplot involving Adela's elderly travelling companion Mrs. Moore (Peggy Ashcroft), who through a series of plot twists too complex to describe here becomes a heroine of the Indian Independence movement. A Passage to India was nominated for several Academy Awards, scoring wins in the categories of Best Supporting Actress (Peggy Ashcroft) and Best Original Score (Maurice Jarre). A theatrical version of A Passage to India, written by Santha Rama Rau, was previously adapted for television by the BBC in the mid-1970s.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Michael Costello
David Lean returned to the screen after a self-imposed absence of 14 years with this vivid, well-directed adaptation of the Forster classic. The director has slightly altered the focus of the novel, rendering its key event in a somewhat less ambiguous light, but, in general, stays faithful to its tale of clashing cultures. Lean perfectly captures Forster's satire of the smug insularity and poisonous racism of the British Raj of 1924, setting the myopia of its members against the exoticism and natural beauty of the subcontinent. Young Adela Quested (Judy Davis), something of a hothouse flower, is far more enlightened than her fellow Brits on matters of race, but also far more susceptible to such beauty, which induces in her a sort of subtly erotic fever. What actually transpired between she and the hospitable Dr. Aziz (Victor Banerjee) in the Marabar caves was left a mystery by the author, but Lean implies a fit of virginal hysteria on the part of Adela rather than any violation. This dilutes the complexity of Forster's novel, while reducing Aziz to the role of victim. Yet, as the tragedy gains momentum, the novelist's themes -- the destructiveness of colonialism, the unbridgeable differences between the two cultures, and the wisdom of the older civilization -- remain clear. Among a brilliant cast, Judy Davis seems particularly inspired, and Dame Peggy Ashcroft is memorable as well. The one glitch is the casting of Guinness as an unintentionally comic Godbole. Lean's characteristic visual splendor is nearly a forgone conclusion.

Product Details

Release Date:
04/15/2008
UPC:
0043396162259
Original Release:
1984
Rating:
PG
Source:
Sony Pictures
Region Code:
ABC
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Time:
2:44:00
Sales rank:
23,255

Special Features

Blu-ray exclusive: "Beyond the Passage: Picture-in-Picture Tracks"; Commentary with producer Richard Goodwin; "E.M. Forster: Profile of an Author"; "An Epic Takes Shape"; "An Indian Affair"; "Only Connect: A Vision of India"; "Casting a Classic" ; "David Lean: Shooting With the Master"; "Reflections of David Lean"

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Judy Davis Adela Quested
Victor Banerjee Dr. Aziz
Peggy Ashcroft Mrs. Moore
James Fox Richard Fielding
Alec Guinness Godbole
Nigel Havers Ronny Heaslop
Richard Wilson Turton
Antonia Pemberton Mrs. Turton
Michael Culver McBryde
Art Malik Mahmoud Ali
Saeed Jaffrey Hamidullah
Clive Swift Maj. Callendar
Ann Firbank Mrs. Callendar
Roshan Seth Amritrao
Sandra Hotz Stella
Mohammed Ashiq Haq
Phyllis Bose Mrs. Leslie
Ishaq Bux Selim
Edward Fox Actor
Peter Hughes P.& O. Manager
Rashid Karapiet Mr. Das
Z.H. Khan Dr. Pana Lal
Sally Kinghorn Ingenue
H.S. Krishnamurthy Hassan
Moti Makan Guide
Mellan Mitchell Indian Businessman
Dina Pathak Begum Hamidullah

Technical Credits
David Lean Director,Editor,Producer,Screenwriter
Eric Allwright Makeup
E.M. Forster Source Author
John Box Production Designer
John Brabourne Producer
Robin Browne Special Effects
Jill Carpenter Makeup
Ernest Day Cinematographer
Christopher Figg Asst. Director
Richard Goodwin Producer
John Heyman Producer
Maurice Jarre Score Composer
Priscilla John Casting
Nick Laws Asst. Director
John W. Mitchell Sound/Sound Designer
Judy Moorcraft Costumes/Costume Designer
Hugh Scaife Set Decoration/Design
Leslie Tomkins Art Director
Herbert Westbrook Art Director
Ram Yedekar Art Director

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