NewsBlaze search box Daily News header

Trishna Review: Winterbottom Unleashes Hardy's Inner Libido In A Movie

By     get stories by email

Reboots are apparently not just for blockbusters these days. A Thomas Hardy classic that has fascinated enough to inspire six screen adaptions since the last century, a television episodic series and an unconventional stint on the South Bank Show, Tess of the D'Urbervilles turns up now for some reason in India, and with a brand new name in the mix as well - Trishna.

The dramatically blunt romantic tragedy is directed by Michael Winterbottom (A Mighty Heart, 24 Hour Party People), and strangely enough crediting Hardy as the sole writer, even though the end product bears little resemblance to the original 1891 novel. The film likewise seems to be mulling Hardy as some sort of time traveler into the present, and contemplating the tale through contemporary eyes transported to India.

Though if Winterbottom is embracing some pressing rationale, I have no idea why. Except to say that with its graphic sexuality, flirting so to speak with emotional if not physical S&M, the director may have been primarily fixated not so much on his suffering protagonist, but with a more creepy fascination as to what libidinous thoughts may have been suppressed in Hardy's mind. And that he might have expressed on paper, but for the social constraints of his time.

Freida Pinto is Trishna, a nineteen year old peasant daughter of a struggling rural farmer. When Jay (Riz Ahmed), the son of a wealthy urban hotel owner, visits the village and is drawn to the fetching local beauty, he lures the gullible virgin away to his sex nest in the big city without any promise of marriage. Eventually Jay abandons the confused and naive girl, but later rejoins Trishna and takes her to one of his father's resorts. And basically to toil there as a servant, while fulfilling every whim and erotic fantasy of the favorite hotel guest - him.

The film seems to waver with persistent imbalance between a punishing impoverished rural landscape relayed with nearly documentary effect, and an overly melodramatic story painfully plodding for both the perpetually suffering Trishna and the audience. Even as Pinto does her virtual sex slave miserably in love thing, to the point of excruciating monotony. And with a horrific ending which by that time has become just about too exhausting to process, and arriving with hardly a too much too late sense of drained relief.

IFC Films
Rated R
1 1/2 stars

Prairie Miller is a NY multimedia journalist online, in print and on radio, and on WBAI/Pacifica National Radio Network's Arts Express. Read more reviews by Prairie Miller. Contact Prairie through NewsBlaze. Read more stories by Prairie Miller.

  Please click this get stories by email button to be notified about future stories, and please leave a comment below.

  Please leave a comment here     If it does not display within 10 seconds, please refresh the page

Related Movie Reviews News

Where to Invade Next hops from one topic to another, never lets the audience know what it's about and, after two hours of cinematic navel gazing, it's unlikely they care.
Prairie Miller has a Halloween Visitation. Cult Horror Director Sam Raimi drops in, Death Of A Salesman In Yiddish and classical concert pianist Hannah Reimann
Bond is back, possibly Daniel Craig's last outing. Can SPECTRE step out of the shadow cast by SKYFALL's great acclaim. Read Kingsley's review to find out!
This race hate documentary chronicles neo-Nazi relocation to Leith, a small town in North Dakota, and what the locals did to get rid of the supremacists.
Prairie Miller has a conversation with Ben Vereen, about Time Out of Mind, his movie with Richard Gere, a film about the homeless struggling to survive.
A power-hungry ruthless assassin mobster wants to muscle-in on illegal Mafia rackets in the Italian North End. An intimidating, monster with no conscience.


NewsBlaze Writers Of The Month

Popular Stories This Month

newsletter logo

Copyright © 2004-2015 NewsBlaze Pty. Ltd.
Use of this website is subject to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy  | DMCA Notice               Press Room   |    Visit NewsBlaze Mobile Site