USA Today - 02/03/1989
"...A masterpiece....[With] some of the most exquisite color photography ever....Cinematic, emotional, you name it -- here's a great one..."
Entertainment Weekly - 03/04/2005
"[A] study of sorrow that's all the more pungent for being exquisitely pretty."
Uncut - 03/01/2006 5 stars out of 5 -- "[D]eep, powerful currents stir beneath its steady rhythms. A film of magisterial beauty."
The gentle rhythms of the Ganges provide background noise in Renoir's low-key film about three girls suffering the pangs of adolescence in post-WWII India. Harriet (Patricia Walters), a shy, poetic girl, Valerie (Adrienne Corri), a proud beauty, and Melanie (Radha), a reserved Anglo-Indian, display a powerful interest in Captain John (Thomas E. Breen), a WWII veteran staying with a neigboring relative. But when he loses his leg in the war, he plunges into a melancholy that makes him oblivious to their attention.
Described by Renoir as, "an Occidental meditation on the Orient," the film adopts the languid rhythms of the East, as it tells the story of three adolescent girls coming of age in West Bengal after WWII. Harriet (Patricia Walters), a self-conscious aspiring writer, Melanie (Radha), a quiet Anglo-Indian girl, and Valerie (Adrienne Corri), an imperious beauty, are three friends united by their infatuation with Captain John (Thomas E. Breen), a WWII veteran who has moved into their neighborhood. Yet his melancholy, caused by losing his leg in the war, renders him impervious to their attempts to attract his attention. Patricia's amused but understanding parents (Nora Swinburne, Esmond Knight) try to distract her with involvement in the small events of daily life. But even with her parents, tragedy can strike, as it does for Patricia, turning her world upside down. Only then can she begin to understand the Captain, and finally penetrate his isolation, achieving a kind of love far different than what she had imagined. Breathtaking color photography by Claude Renoir in a film that represents an undeniable mellowing of the director's vision.
Coming Of Age |
Love Triangle |
Satyajit Ray, one of India's greatest filmmakers, assisted director Renoir on this production.
This was Jean Renoir's first film in color.
Winner of the Grand Prize at the Venice Film Festival; named one of the Top Ten Best Films by the New York Film Critics Circle.