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Sat 11 Jun 2011, 2:00pm–5:00pm
Sun 12 Jun 2011, 4:00pm–7:00pm
Mon 13 Jun 2011, 1:00pm–4:00pm
Tue 14 Jun 2011, 1:00pm–4:00pm
Wed 15 Jun 2011, 1:00pm–4:00pm

Where: The Paramount Theatre, 25 Courtenay Place, Wellington

Restrictions: All Ages

Listed by: Kate Larkindale

UK/USA, 1984

Running Length: 164 minutes

Cast: Judy Davis, Peggy Ashcroft, Victor Banerjee, Alex Guiness, Nigel Havers, James Fox
Director: David Lean
Screenplay: David lean, from the novel by E M Forster
Cinematography: Ernest Day

Fourteen years after his last film, David Lean returned to the big screen with this beautifully played and filmed adaptation of E M Forster’s A Passage to India. This tale of the clash between East and West in colonial India is perfectly suited to Lean’s eye for landscape, and the stunning scenery often comes close to overshadowing the actors. Which is no mean feat when you consider that Peggy Ashcroft gives perhaps the performance of her career here.

Set in 1928 (interestingly, the book was written in 1924), the film stars Aussie, Judy Davis as an Englishwoman brought to India ostensibly to marry the city magistrate of the fictional city of Chandrapore. Davis’s character is well brought up and intelligent. She’s not a rebel, but is uncomfortable with the snobbery and limitations of the ruling British community.

When the local doctor invites her and the older woman on an excursion to the nearby caves, she breaks the rule against racial intermingling and goes. The expedition ends in tragedy when she returns, bloodied, and accuses the medic of raping her.

The performances are uniformly good, but Peggy Ashcroft has to be singled out. Her Mrs. Moore is unparalleled and is reason enough to see the film. Judy Davis is also good, managing to be both plain when the role requires her to be, and stunningly beautiful.

Restaurants to book near David Lean Series: A Passage to India