The River

1951

Drama / Romance

5
IMDb Rating 7.5 10 5633

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Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
February 19, 2021 at 10:52 AM

Director

Cast

Adrienne Corri as Valerie
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
914.09 MB
968*720
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 39 min
P/S 5 / 15
1.66 GB
1440*1072
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 39 min
P/S 15 / 25

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by jasonb84 10 / 10

Thoughtful and Beautiful...

This is a little known film, but well worth watching if you're lucky enough to find it on Video or TV. The director Jean Renoir is the son of the French Impressionist Painter Pierre Auguste Renoir ( the cinematographer Claude Renoir is Jean's nephew ) and the family talent shines throughout this film, which is beautifully shot. Whether showing the amazing landscape of India and the river itself, the colours and intricacies of the many Indian festivals, or even a close up of Valerie's face as she gazes at Captain John, every frame displays grace, beauty and style that film rarely captures.

The plot itself, how a troubled outsider affects three teenaged girls, is a simple tale, and all the more powerful for it. We've all had a crush, and know the river of emotions that are awakened by one. Each of the three girls, the irrepressible and dramatic Valerie, the talented but awkward Harriet, and the stoic Melanie ( who despite schooling in the West is somehow more Indian in nature than her friends who've been brought up in India ) vie for Captain John's affections in their own way.

However, the real love of this film is India itself - it's fascinating people, beliefs, festivals, and the constant River that runs through them all. It's a slow paced film, not in a hurry to get to any kind of conclusion, and you are immersed in the country, and what it's like to live there. Like relaxing on one of the many river boats, as its floats gently downstream, the film meanders along, showing us different scenes along the way, from the local postman's route to the house gates to the son's fascination with Cobras, with the story always moving on, though always interwoven with more day to day life. This brings a familiar reality to the film, it doesn't just skip moments that might not immediately concern the main characters - like life, other events happen, and they have their place in this film too.

Actually getting to watch this film will be hard, it's not well known ( and not even considered one of Renoir's best ), but if you ever come home one night, flick on the TV, and see this starting, then get comfortable, and enjoy a lovingly made film about a country and the people, both native and foreigners, who live there.

Reviewed by howard.schumann 10 / 10

A great film

After a family tragedy, an adolescent girl blurts out angrily at the dinner table, "We just go on as if nothing has happened". "No", her mother responds, "we just go on". The River, Jean Renoir's first color film, is about going on -- the ebb and flow of life that mirrors the path of the sacred river Ganges that flows nearby. Filmed on location in India, The River is a sumptuously beautiful film that was called by Martin Scorsese ""one of the two most beautiful color films ever made" and one of his "most formative movie experiences." The film has been brought to life magnificently in a new Criterion DVD that contains an introduction by Jean Renoir, an interview with Scorsese, and a biography of author Rumer Godden, who grew up in India and whose work formed the basis for Powell and Pressburger's Black Narcissus (1947).

Set in India at the time of independence, its themes are universal: the feeling of being an outsider, of running away from unpleasant situations, and the hopelessly romantic stirring of adolescent love. While the film reflects the point of view of a British colonial family, it is respectful of the surrounding culture and pays homage to Hindu and Buddhist traditions through stories, documentary footage, and dance sequences. Harriet (Patricia Walters) is the adult narrator who looks back on her days as an adolescent. About thirteen in the film, she lives with her four sisters and brother Bogey in a colonial house in India that looks out upon the Ganges. Renoir's camera captures the energy and rhythm of life on the river: its peddlers, ships, markets, people coming and going, the crowds, everything in constant motion juxtaposed with the timeless tranquility of the river.

Harriet's father (Esmond Knight) who lost an eye during the war, runs a jute manufacturing plant while his pregnant wife (Nora Swinburne) takes care of the house, assisted by governess Nan (Suprova Mukerjee). When a young American named Captain John (Thomas E. Breen) comes to visit his cousin Mr. John (Arthur Shields) after losing his leg in the war, his dreams of being left alone are short lived. Harriet becomes infatuated with Captain John but has to contend with two other female admirers: her older friend Valerie (Adrienne Corri), a flaming redhead, and Mr. John's daughter Melanie (Radha Shri Ram), a young woman of mixed ethnicity who was born in India but reared in a British boarding school. The arrival of Captain John brings a clear signal that the girls must face the end of what has been an idyllic childhood.

All feel like outsiders: Melanie is caught between two cultures and questions whether she will ever fit into either, Harriet expresses her adolescent longings in idealistic poetry, Valerie is overwhelmed by her innocent desires, and Captain John is a deeply troubled man who only wants to live a normal life. Although the acting can be a bit wooden especially during peak dramatic moments, it does not detract from the film's authenticity. The River is definitely of its time and its attitudes towards women are dated, yet it is a work that transcends time and place to capture universal emotions. It is a great film that can be relished over and over again with increasing appreciation.

Reviewed by Fesch 10 / 10

Just life

This is one of those rare films which give you the impression after viewing it that you have truly lived and shared the lives of its characters (not just 'two people received that kiss', as they say in the film, but everyone who's watching the movie).

You became part of that river as the film progresses, it is perhaps the picture which has described the passage of time better than any other. It is life, running within its waters, that catches your soul, which melts with the river and the film and your memory...

I think it is the only movie that made me run to a bookstore to buy the book it was based on. Rumer Godden's work is beautiful indeed, but the film is far better for me.

Highly recommended!

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