Utpal Borpujari

September 7, 2009

DVD Reviews: A Canterbury Tale / Doctor Zhivago

By Utpal Borpujari

A Canterbury Tale; UK; 124 minutes; Enlighten Film Company; Rs 399

This 1944, black & white film by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger had attracted poor reviews and very few viewers when it was released first, but since then, it has acquired a cult status, many counting it among the world’s greatest-ever films. Based loosely on The Canterbury Tales of Geoffrey Chaucer, this film is about the hunt by three people – an American GI, a British soldier, and a young girl for the mysterious ‘glue man’ who pours glue on the hair of local girls who have affairs with soldiers. Set during the Second World War, it is considered one of the Powell-Pressburger duo’s best works accentuated by some magnificent cinematography.


Doctor Zhivago (TV series); UK; 227 minutes; Moser Baer; Rs 99

This 2002 TV series is no patch on the Omar Sharif-Julie Christie classic, but it is not a bad view either. Based on Boris Pasternak’s novel made immortal by the 1965 feature film, it is set in the times of early 20th century Czarist Russia. Though the novel delved much into the society and the politics of the times, this series, like the film, has the story of young  Lara, played by Keira Knightley, and the three men who come to her life, at the foreground.  The series effectively uses archival black & white photos of the era that melt into the scenes, giving it an authentic look. While the big screen impact had people swooning over with the rakish charm of Sharif and the beautiful music, this series scores in the painstaking recreation of that era through meticulous sets.

(Published in Deccan Herald; www.deccanherald.com, www.deccanheraldepaper.com, 06-09-2009)



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