Such a Long Journey
It is 1971--Bombay, India, and the country is on the verge of war. Gustad Noble finds his modest life unraveling when he agrees to do a clandestine favor for an old friend. Based on the prize-winning novel by Robinton Mistry, from a screenplay by Sooni Taraporevala (Mississippi Masala, Salaam Bombay) and helmed by Emmy Award-winning director Sturla Gunnarsson, "Such a Long Journey" is both a tragic drama and a wryly humorous meditation on enduring hope and the strength of faith.
Would you like to tell us about a lower price?
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
But that's not half the reason I recommend this movie whole-heartedly. Gunnarsson (an Icelander!) and Taraporewala seem to have done an immaculate job of adapting Mistry's touching eponymous novel to the screen.
This is a simple yet subtle story of a middle-aged Parsi bank employee in Bombay in the 70s and the various facets of his interactions with his immediate family, friends/neighbours, professional circle etc, sensitively exploring how these bear upon his life. Despite the period in question, I can assure you that this movie beautifully captures the typical middle-class Bombay life as it is now, in particular the nuances of a minority (Parsi) man.
Yet it manages to offer a heart-warming view of our modern condition in almost any urban setting, not just Bombay. And thankfully the characterizations do not pander to a global stereotype of the Indian middle class as normally seen in the movies of Monsoon Wedding genre for instance.
All I can say is that if you are genuinely interested in meaningful film, you won't regret watching this hidden marvel of movie making. Highly recommended.
Gustad and his wife Dilnavaz are trying to lead good lives during the political and social turmoil of Indira Gandhi's rule in the 1970s. India is on the verge of war with the Muslims of Pakistan, and though Gustad is aware of political corruption, he is far more pre-occupied with having his son accepted at a school of technology, doing his job as a bank supervisor, and supporting his family. Constant blackouts and continually deteriorating conditions on the street add to the frustrations of Gustad's life. When an old friend, asks Gustad for help on behalf of the Indian government, Gustad reluctantly agrees to deposit money to a secret account at the bank. He soon finds himself enmeshed in a spiral from which he cannot break out.
Seth is a fine Gustad, showing with a raised eyebrow or a casual glance a range of emotions which makes Gustad come alive. Rasdan, as his wife, is both loving and frustrated, fearful of what Gustad may have committed himself to, and worried about her son, who does not want to got to a technical college, and their small daughter, who is extremely ill. Little Shazneed Damania, as the sick child, is extraordinary, and when she has tremors and convulsions as a result of her fever, she wrings the heart of the audience.
The wall outside Gustad's apartment building, symbolizing the larger world of Bombay, is a far more dramatic and significant element in the film than in the novel. When Gustad persuades a sidewalk artist to paint the wall so that it will no longer be used as a latrine, the artist (Ranjit Chowdhry) depicts scenes from all the religions of India. The wall becomes a shrine--until the government decides to tear it down, paralleling in some ways the life of Gustad..
Though major scenes are depicted in intimate interior settings, effectively photographed (Jan Kiesser) to show visually the characters' relationships, the panoramic outdoor shots of the roiling life of Bombay dramatically intensify the turmoil within Gustad's life. Sensitively acted and directed, with a screenplay written by the book's author, the film is the visual embodiment of everything Mistry achieves in the novel. Outstanding! Mary Whipple
When he receives a letter from an old friend who asks for his help, he quickly says yes, even though he has to agree to receive a mysterious package. There are politics involved which I didn't understand but it didn't matter who the bad guys were because the focus was more on the personal choices made by the people.
The best part of the film was its setting. It brought me right into the city of Bombay with its overcrowding, its filth, its sounds and its people. I could almost smell the air and feel the grit on my skin. Life is difficult there, but the city was just a backdrop for the story, which I found slow but mildly interesting. The acting was so good however, that it made up for the some of the plot's shortfalls. I enjoyed the film. And recommend it.