Trishna (played by Freida Pinto) is a beautiful young woman living with her family in Rajasthan in India. Hers is a simple life. Her father is a stern but hard working man, who lives by his religious principles and conservative Hindu ways. One day, when Trishna is out with her friend she meets Jay (by Riz Ahmed), a handsome young man from a wealthy family with a role in the family business. Jay is showing some friends around who are visiting from England. He is instantly attracted to her beauty and innocence and he wants to pursue her. When Trishna and her father are injured in a road accident, Jay discovers her family have little means to support themselves with their father out of action, so he offers Trishna a job in one of his father’s hotels in Jaipur. She puts her trust in him and she loves the job she has been fortunate to get. After a time, and Jay’s relentless attention, they become lovers and Trishna’s innocence is challenged. She starts to get involved in his heady lifestyle. The relationship strikes trouble and Trishna realises once again that life can throw difficult situations at her. She puts up with the hardships for the sake of her relationship, but in the end she wonders whether its really all worth it ….
This is a good movie. The drama is developed well and the characters are all authentic. To use India as the backdrop presents a different, but good foundation for this classic story, which I understand is loosely based on the classic Thomas Hardy novel “Tess of the D’Urbervilles”. Although I had seen the earlier version by Roman Polanski (“Tess”), I didn’t have a clear memory of it, so this one I basically viewed with fresh eyes. The story is told well – Freida Pinto is lovely as the innocent Trishna and Riz Ahmed is strong in the role of Jay, both in terms of his tenderness towards her and also his capability to display utter cruelty and control. It’s filmed in present-day in some marvellous locations in Rajasthan and also in Mumbai, which adds to its fresh take on the story. I like Freida Pinto’s performance, her Trishna is so real as the girl who seizes a chance at happiness (out of poverty) only to find out more about life than she ever wanted to know. The location makes the cinematogaphy stunning, and having only recently visited there, I k now that the landscape and locations are reproduced fathfully. It’s good.
Made in 2012. Directed by Michael Winterbottom.