Friday, February 22, 2013


Trishna (2011/2012), the eighth of Michael Winterbottom's films to pop up here, draws its main arc from Thomas Hardy's Tess of the d'Urbervilles: A Pure Woman Faithfully Presented (1891). However, the setting has been transposed to contemporary India, making for an interesting update.

Trishna, the main character (played by Freida Pinto), was born into rural poverty. The man who becomes her abusive boyfriend (played by Riz Ahmed) was born into great wealth. Intense conflict ensues -- involving socioeconomic class, privilege, and gender differences. Trishna at first becomes a servant at one of said boyfriend's father's luxury hotels (a converted palace of ancient origin), and she sends money back to her family. Later they move to Mumbai and she is exposed to modern urban life. Things start to go awry just about then.

Trishna shows many facets of early 21st century India. What's riveting beyond the story line itself is seeing the weird juxtapoisition of ultra-modern gadgets with ancient traditions, large domesticated animals in the streets and paths, plus monkeys and peacocks positioning themselves in various locations. It's a wild ride, and for Trishna -- as for Tess in industrializing England -- a tragic one.

Today's Rune: Defense.   

1 comment:

jodi said...

Erik, I would think of lovely Mona if I saw that one...