|INDIA SONG (director/writer: Marguerite Duras; cinematographer: Bruno Nuytten; editor: Solange Leprince; music: Carlos D'Alessio; cast: Delphine Seyrig (Anne-Marie Stretter), Michel Lonsdale (French ambassador), Claude Mann (Michael Richardson), Didier Flamand (Stretter's guest), Vernon Dobcheff (Georges Crawn), Claude Juan (Servant); Runtime: 120; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Stéphane Tchalgadjieff; NTSC/Sunchild Films; 1975-France-in French with English subtitles)|
doomed lover movie that is meant to excite you
stylistically as it bores you to death with
its thin drama."
by Dennis Schwartz
writer-director Marguerite Duras ("Nathalie
Granger"/"Baxter, Vera Baxter"/"Woman of the Ganges")
helms a static doomed lover movie that is meant to
excite you stylistically as it bores you to death with
its thin drama. It was filmed in a house just outside
of Paris, as the fine aesthetic photography by Bruno
Nuytten conveys the atmosphere of a metaphorical India
and the numerous long slow tracking shots help create
a leisurely pace while the evocative score by Carlos
D'Alessio gives you an eerie eastern feel intertwined
with a sense of colonial-era aristocratic decay. The
lyrical pic, a visual poem, plays out like a doleful
wishful dream for the mentally tortured heroine,
suffering from a bad case of displacement over a
colonial guilt at being enclosed in the stifling
society world of the privileged while cut off from the
world of squalor.
Anne-Marie Stretter (Seyrig), is a failed
concert pianist now the pampered bored consular wife
in '30s Calcutta, India, of the disgraced former
French vice-consul of Lahore (Michel
Lonsdale). The attractive, well-dressed
Anne-Marie has many affairs, all ignored by her hubby.
Eventually her miserable empty life drives her to
suicide, as her story is uniquely told by the spoken
word, with off-screen voices talking through the
unforgettable musical score and the classy visuals.
unusually filmed lyrical melodrama about how boredom
and alienation leads to the death of a bourgeois lady
is hypnotic in ways that defy explanation, but is not
for all viewers.
REVIEWED ON 2/13/2014 GRADE: B-
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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