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The Perfect Murder - The Merchant Ivory Collection

3.3 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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(Jan 18, 2005)
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Editorial Reviews

Based on the CWA Gold Dagger Award-winning novel by H.R.F Keating, The Perfect Murder follows inspector Ghote (Naseeruddin Shah) of the Bombay police as he pursues his most perplexing case: a savage attack on a rich industrialist's private secretary. With the help of a visiting Swedish criminologist (Stellan Skarsgård), Ghote edges closer to the truth, and soon discovers he may not be dealing with murder at all, but something far more complex and profitable.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Naseeruddin Shah, Stellan Skarsgård, Amjad Khan, Madhur Jaffrey, Annu Kapoor
  • Directors: Zafar Hai
  • Writers: Zafar Hai, H.R.F. Keating
  • Producers: Deepak Nayar, Donald Rosenfeld, Godrej, Ismail Merchant, Jitesh Vora
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Merchant Ivory
  • DVD Release Date: January 18, 2005
  • Run Time: 93 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0006HC00A
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #155,646 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Perfect Murder - The Merchant Ivory Collection" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By C. O. DeRiemer TOP 1000 REVIEWER on February 18, 2005
Format: DVD
Inspector Ghote (Naseeruddin Shah), the famous Bombay detective created by H. R. F. Keating, is called in to investigate an assault on an old retainer in a wealthy Bombay household. He's told this is top priority. He also is charged with discovering a diamond smuggling ring which, he's told, is top priority. And he is assigned to escort a visiting Swedish criminologist (Stellan Skarsgard) and to demonstrate the high quality of Bombay's police activities. Making a good impression on the Swede, he is told, is top priority.

The Inspector Ghote in Keating's mysteries is a mild-mannered, intelligent, persistent and dedicated cop. He has an overbearing boss and a wife who loves him but who also knows what she wants. Naseeruddin Shah, a famous Indian actor, does an excellent job as the Inspector. Skarsgard plays the young Swede as enthusiastic, brave and a little callow. He and Ghote eventually develop mutual respect and liking. Some of the crooks involved with the diamonds come to believe that Skarsgard is a diamond thief, too, which causes a number of complications, some amusing and some dangerous.

The plot lines eventually come together in a reasonably satisfying way. The Perfect Murder is a pleasant mystery, interesting because of the local color (it was shot in Bombay and a good deal of the action takes place in Bombay neighborhoods and streets) and the performances of the actors.

This is one of the releases under the "Merchant-Ivory Productions" name. Ismail Merchant was the executive producer. The DVD is better than average, but the image and audio are both a little soft.
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HRF Keating is an amazingly accurate author who set his detective stories in Bombay and other parts of India, without ever having visited India! He finally made a trip to Bombay when this film was being made. Objectively rating the film, its between a 3-4 star, the ending is a bit weak, and could have been more exciting with a touch of menace. It never felt like a true detective story which is always a thriller. I found the Indian English used here true to form and very delightful to hear again (as I grew up in India). The actors are some of India's finest, and delivered solid performances, albeit with a trace of comedy, as in the books. In order to appreciate the film, one MUST READ THE BOOKS!! Without the background on this hard-working, under-appreciated, Indian cop with great integrity, who gets his man despite great setbacks and no support from his high-handed boss or irate wife, one cannot understand the movie in depth. The books fill in the background. The books take great pains to show Indian life in great detail, like the truth-telling bull, and the Goan wedding procession. Ghote is a dedicated cop. He is from Bombay in the state of Maharashtra, where his name is as common as 'Smith' in the UK. His wife Protima, hails from Calcutta, West Bengal. In the movie, the actress Ratna Pathak could have sounded more Bengali, and spoken with a Bengali accent, but she did not. In real life, the actors who played Ghote(Naseeruddin Shah), and Protima Ratna Pathak Shah, are married to each other. Minor actors like Pearl Padamsee who played the nurse, have been acting on the Bombay theatre circuit for years. She did a Goan accent very well (from Goa, south of Bombay). This is a detective story, as well as a window into India. It must be judged on this basis, and not simply as a thriller. Hurrah for Ghote and Keating!!
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Reminded me of an Indian version of Inspector Clouseau...not quite as bumbling or inept...but definitely entertaining. I'm a Merchant Ivory fan and I'd not seen "The Perfect Murder" so when I saw a used version at a great price online I ordered it immediately. Interesting performance by Madhur Jaffrey, while I knew she was an actress I hadn't seen her in anything before...although I loved her cookbooks. Naseeruddin Shah as Inspector Ghote and Stellan Skarsgård as Axel Svensson play well off each other and seem, in as much as possible in a farce, to have believable rapport. Not a great movie but definitely worth watching. My review probably would have been higher but I'm not a fan of farce.
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