|Site locale: United States||
Best Blu-ray Deals
Best Blu-ray Deals, See All the Deals »
Top deals |
A Passage to India(1984)
Adela Quested, a young and spirited Englishwoman, travels to India alongside the somewhat older Mrs. Moore. Mrs. Moore's hope is that her son, an administrator in the British Raj, and Adela will wed. Once in India, the two women pay scant heed to the customs followed by English society. They even agree to accompany a "native" — the charming and educated Dr. Aziz — on a tour of the mystical, ancient Marabar Caves. But their innocent outing turns ugly when Adela emerges from the cave's darkness accusing Aziz of rape. British authorities eagerly pursue — even pressure — Adela to go to court. The truth, however, is not as clear as the bigoted colonial government believes it is.
For more about A Passage to India and the A Passage to India Blu-ray release, see the A Passage to India Blu-ray Review
Starring: Judy Davis, Victor Banerjee, Peggy Ashcroft, James Fox, Alec Guinness, Nigel Havers
Director: David Lean
» See full cast & crew
A Passage to India Blu-ray Review
David Lean's final masterpiece is perfectly at home on Blu-ray
Reviewed by Ben Williams, April 22, 2008
When one thinks of epic filmmaking the name of Sir David Lean almost invariably comes to mind. As one of the true masters of the cinematic arts, his films of the late fifties and early sixties (The Bridge on the River Kwai, Lawrence of Arabia and Doctor Zhivago) set the gold standard for mapping out massive story arcs, luscious photography of sweeping vistas and the obligatory casts of thousands. After this extremely fertile creative period for Mr. Lean, he withdrew from the film business for over a decade, seemingly tired of the endless criticism his films generated. Everything changed for Mr. Lean in 1983 when he was given the chance to adapt, edit and direct E.M. Forster's A Passage to India. Lean had been wanting to adapt the stage version of the novel for years and took the opportunity to re-enter the world of film. It would be Lean's last film and a final masterpiece in a career full of masterpieces.
A Passage to India centers on Ms. Adela Quested (Judy Davis) and her soon-to-be mother-in-law Mrs. Moore (Peggy Ashcroft). The two travel to India to visit Moore's son, a regional Governor for the occupying British Empire. The film deals with the deep schism that exists between the native Indian population and their shock at the sudden influx on British culture that has been thrust upon them. Unlike most Brits in India, Moore and Quested are fascinated by Indian culture and befriend a kindly Indian Doctor by the name of Aziz Ahmed (Victor Banerjee). The film takes an abrupt turn as Dr. Aziz is accused of "molesting" Ms. Quested as they tour a series of historic caves. Dr. Aziz will be thrust into the depths of the British legal system where he is forced to prove his innocence and he is assumed to be guilty.
A Passage to India is both a harrowing and beautiful film. As with most David Lean films, the scenery is breathtaking and is at center stage for the majority of the film. In fact, A Passage to India is really two films in one. First, the film can be viewed purely as eye candy. The combination of Ernest Day's brilliant imagery and Maurice Jarre's haunting score make for a powerful visual and aural feast. I've seen A Passage to India about a dozen times over the years, and I never tire of this potent combination. Secondly, the film plays out as a tremendously moving character study and melodrama. I challenge any viewer to not be taken by the plight of Dr. Aziz or to tear up during the finale's chants of "Mrs. Moore! Mrs. Moore!"
Unfortunately for A Passage to India, I'm afraid that many contemporary film viewers might find the pacing a bit on the slow side. David Lean definitely worked within a specific pacing that allowed the narrative flow of the story to unfold at a leisurely pace. Personally, I find this to be a refreshing alternative to the fast-pace, hyperkinetic editing style employed in most of today's motion pictures. I hope that the Blu-ray buying public will give this award winning and truly special film a chance. As a matter of fact, Blu-ray.com's own Penton-Man and Maxpower1987, both film industry insiders, have indicated that sales of A Passage to India will be measured as a test to see if classic epics are worthy of the massive amount of capital necessary to bring them into your home theater on Blu-ray. Lawrence of Arabia is one such film that might find its way into your hands a little sooner if A Passage to India sells well. So, go out, buy a copy and discover a great film that deserves to be seen. Not only will you enrich your soul, but you'll be doing a solid for film lovers everywhere.
A Passage to India Blu-ray, Video Quality
A Passage to India has been given the royal treatment for this Blu-ray release. The good folks at Sony have brought the film to us featuring a high-bitrate AVC Mpeg-4 encode in the film's original aspect ratio of 1:66:1. Unlike most high definition titles, this more narrow aspect ratio will be displayed properly with small black bars on the sides of your video display. So, don't panic if you see these bars - - they're supposed to be there! It's perfectly clear from the first seconds of the film that a huge amount of work has gone into this restoration. There isn't a speck of dirt to be found on the print and the film displays a beautiful sheen only seen in a print that has been lovingly restored.
As far as the gritty details are concerned, grain has been retained and is always naturally presented. This is not an overly grainy film, but there is a trace amount from time to time. Fortunately this never translates to noise and the image retains a wonderful filmic quality. Black levels are nicely solid and contrast is well defined throughout the presentation. Colors are generally warm with the occasional vivid hue represented in native costumes and street scenes. Ultimately, I'm just blown away by how stable and flawless this transfer is. Sony has obviously spent a great amount of time and care bringing this film to Blu-ray. A Passage to India is of reference grade and comes highly recommended!
A Passage to India Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Sony has given A Passage to India the standard Blu-ray complement of audio options with both English and French Dolby TrueHD 5.1 tracks. Sony continues to maintain their support for lossless audio on every release. While it might not seem like the ideal title for the lossless treatment, A Passage to India benefits greatly from this increased audio fidelity.
First and foremost, Maurice Jarre's wonderful score has never sounded better. The front channels of the mix place the various instruments within the score in their appropriate spacial positions. Each instrument section is easily identified. All too often, a film's score seems to just be a muddy blur within the mix. That's definitely not the case here. Surround activity is minimal, but be prepared for a great surround treat as Mrs. Moore visits the Marabar caves. Dialogue is of primary importance in A Passage to India and the TrueHD track is up to the challenge. Vocals are perfectly placed within the mix without a trace of hiss or breakup. Recommended!
A Passage to India Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
As a special "Columbia Pictures Classics" release, A Passage to India features the most in-depth collection of supplements ever offered for the film.
Here's what's included:
- Commentary with Richard Goodwin
- E.M. Forster: A Profile of an Author
- An Epic Takes Shape
- An Indian Affair
- Only Connect: A Vision of India
- Casting a Classic
- David Lean: Shooting with the Master
- Reflections of David Lean
- Beyond the Passage
I was a little worried going into this set of supplementary features that there just wouldn't be enough material to make a satisfactory set. Fortunately, my fears were unfounded as quite a lot of work has gone into creating this set. First up, the commentary with Richard Goodwin goes into great detail on the production of the film. Combining this track with "David Lean: Shooting with the Master" and "Reflections on David Lean" should make for essential viewing for David Lean scholars and aficionados. These featurettes include some fascinating interviews conducted with the director while on the set as well as the many stars of the film. My favorite section of the supplements was the "Beyond the Passage" trivia track. This pop-up track plays concurrently with the film and features text and still images that add a nice layer of explanation to what is unfolding on-screen. Recommended!
A Passage to India Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
A Passage to India is a gem of a release on Blu-ray. Sony, once again, has stepped up to the plate and offered a detailed and thorough restoration of a deserving classic film. Watching a David Lean film is a veritable film history class on celluloid. He was the master of the epic and his narrative and visual style has had a profound effect on scores of filmmakers.
This Blu-ray release also scores with exceptional reference video and a stellar Dolby TrueHD soundtrack. I was particularly impressed with the stunning detail and clarity of the image as well as the natural color palette of the film. Sony should be commended for their commitment to restoring and releasing classics like A Passage to India on Blu-ray. As I mentioned earlier, Sony is using the release of A Passage to India as a gauge for future release of classic material. So, run out and snag a copy of a great film that deserves your valuable time, attention and hard earned money. You'll be glad you did! I'm proud to give A Passage to India my Highest Recommendation.
A Passage to India Blu-ray, News and Updates
• A Passage to India Comes to Blu-ray (Updated) - February 4, 2008
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has announced that they will bring the Academy Awards winning film 'A Passage to India' to Blu-ray on April 15th, day-and-date with the DVD re-release. No technical specs have been announced at this time, but the title will receive ...
A Passage to India Blu-ray, Forum Discussions
A Passage to India Blu-ray Screenshots
Back to A Passage to India Blu-ray »
Trending Blu-ray Movies
Trending in Theaters
This web site is not affiliated with the Blu-ray Disc Association.
All trademarks are the property of the respective trademark owners.
© 2002-2013 Blu-ray.com. All rights reserved.