Wednesday, 2 November 2011


UK Premiere (London Film Festival): 22nd October 2011
Watched in Cinema: Tuesday 25th October 2011
Rating: 15
Genre: Drama
Runtime: 1hr 57mins
Tess of the d'Urbervilles transposed to modern day India by Michael Winterbottom, with Freida Pinto as the tragic heroine.
IMDb Plot Synopsis: Based on Thomas Hardy's classic novel Tess of the D'Urbervilles, 'Trishna' tells the story of one woman whose life is destroyed by a combination of love and circumstances. Set in contemporary Rajasthan, Trishna (Freida Pinto) meets a wealthy young British businessman Jay Singh (Riz Ahmed) who has come to India to work in his father's hotel business. After an accident destroys her father's Jeep, Trishna goes to work for Jay, and they fall in love. But despite their feelings for each other, they cannot escape the conflicting pressures of a rural society which is changing rapidly through industrialisation, urbanisation and, above all, education. Trishna's tragedy is that she is torn between the traditions of her family life and the dreams and ambitions that her education has given her.

My Review: Trishna is dark. Much, much darker than I ever expected. 
Set in India, it was naturally a wash with colour, light and movement, contrasting with the dark intensity of the story. It was visually exciting, showing us the country and city of India, far from the ‘Bollywood’ glamour, emphasised by the wonderful Frieda Pinto’s performance. We followed her as she went from innocent country girl to living in Mumbai with a rich British hotel owner, Jay, played by Riz Ahmed who shined in Four Lions, but here is much more serious and does it well. 
Jay is the character that surprised me the most. He spirals out of control as power and money drives him to do some terrible things. Its a thrilling watch, not knowing what they’ll both say and do next and the ending was very shocking. If you know of the Tess of the d'Urbervilles story, you’ll now that things aren’t black and white and that ultimately Trishna was partly to blame for what happened to her. 
The plot was rich, but a bit depressing really and definitely left me with an uncomfortable feeling. And there were a few plot holes, but I’m glad I saw it; the brilliant performances and stunning cinematography were definitely worth it.
Score: 7.5/10

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