The Bengali Night
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Top Customer Reviews
Hugh Grant as Allan is a gray, featureless character moving like he's overdosed on Valium. Allan's girlfriend is simply a freak. (None of the relationships are clearly drawn.) John Hurt's talent is wasted on a character of little consequence. Maybe he is supposed to be the comic relief. Supriya Pathak as Gayatri is absolutely gorgeous. Unfortunately her beauty cannot save this mess.
The real killer was that the DVD had the quality of a pirated movie. It had the appearance of a an 8-mm home movie copied directly to DVD (in someone's garage). The quality is grainy with extremely harsh contrast: shadows are muddy while highlights are washed out. The colors are garish. Hugh and John's faces break out like acne in lurid tenges of red and yellow. The titles are severely blurred. A line of text that appears at the beginning of the film -- that is meant as an introduction to the film -- is unreadable.
Need I go on?
The film succeeds in capturing all the Occidental, existential angst of Beckett and Sartre while adding a high degree of Indian mysticism thus bringing a texture and flavor to the story. It's absolutely intoxicating. The dialogue is so profound that you'll find yourself backing up the disc now and then to hear the imparted words of wisdom again. Add to this wonderful script the exotic urban landscape of India and a near hypnotic soundtrack, you'll find yourself lost in a world of images you'll want to revisit often. This is truly a hidden cinematic gem waiting to be discovered by "All the lost sheep who wander through this world." The only flaw is the DVD itself. The picture is somewhat grainy and spotted, it's definitely in need of a remastering.
Strong performances by Hugh Grant and John Hurt, but the true stars in this film are the two Indian beauties Supriya Pathak as Gayatri and Shabana Azmi as Indira Sen.
This movie is a blur! The story line and the scenes are very unclear even for those who have read Eliade's book. The movie has no subtitles. Subtitles are a must for movies where the characters speak with different accents.
Hugh Grant and Shabana Azmi have done a very good job with their roles. The confusion in Grants' character's face every time he encounters something strange or puzzling about the Indian culture is interesting.
It is very important to listen to the Producer's interview, which is quite an eye-opener. He talks about the specific difficulties he encountered in shooting the movie, the difference in the `concept of time' as experienced by the Indians versus Europeans, the hospitality of the Indians, meeting the real Maitreyi, and law suits by Indians (which they did not pursue). He is still grateful and recommends that everyone visit India. He does describe the culture as bazaar (not his word) as he experienced it- for example, the humongous lunch he was given.
The movie is somewhat disappointing.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I saw this movie when it first came out and didn't remember the plot. When I saw it on the dvd I remembered why I forgot the plot. It's shallow and really not very good.Published 17 months ago by mention not
This movie was ok as it did not really capture my attention. I was hoping by the cover that it would be more up to date as it didn't show the release year, but it looks like this... Read morePublished 18 months ago by Donya
It's the most depressing story. Not even sad. It's just such a dark and depressing story leaves the audience hopeless.Published 20 months ago by Chance
Horrible, one of the worst movies ever. Plot line is stupid, quality is poor, description is misleading. Read morePublished 23 months ago by alice Wallace
fascinating film especially because I met and knew Maitraye Devi personally through many years and she had mentioned to me that she had had a disappointment in her love life - now... Read morePublished on December 30, 2013 by jane Baun
I thought this must be okay if Hugh Grant is in it, but I was wrong. The quality of this film is comparable to a bootleg copy recorded by someone in the audience. Seriously? Read morePublished on October 19, 2012 by Jay Paul
I watched this movie with someone of Bengali descent. Both of us agreed within 10 minutes that the film was not good. Read morePublished on June 4, 2008 by Traveler
If you want a look at life in India, way back when. this movie supplies that. As far as entertainment goes, it's just so-so.Published on March 8, 2007 by Christian J. Lafaurie