Tuesday, 3 May 2011
Lilac and The Far Pavilions
I'm always glad when the beech hedge above comes into leaf.
DVD The Far Pavilions, 1984, with Ben Cross, Christopher Lee, Rosanno Brazzi. Good stuff about the British Raj fighting wars in mid-Victorian times on the North-West Frontier of what is now Pakistan - ring any bells? It's a lavish production shot in India and Wales (?), including numerous extras, even elephants, but seemed slow-moving compared to modern dramas. I wasn't entirely convinced by the main actors, particularly the one who played Anjuli, so I think it would probably be better to read the original 1978 novel by MM Kaye, if you haven't already.
It's a good dramatic plot about a young white man brought up as an Indian who is torn between two or three worlds: the stuffy Raj, his regiment and his Indian friends (Omar Sharif plays his adopted father). Now an Army officer, the hero is in love with a half-Indian princess, who with her sister, is about to be married to a lecherous old Rana. So their romance is doomed on all counts.