A Passage to India


Action / Adventure / Drama / History

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 85%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 78%
IMDb Rating 7.4 10 14491


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April 15, 2016 at 11:18 PM



Alec Guinness as Godbole
Judy Davis as Adela
James Fox as Fielding
Saeed Jaffrey as Hamidullah
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
1.15 GB
23.976 fps
2hr 44 min
P/S 1 / 10
2.47 GB
23.976 fps
2hr 44 min
P/S 4 / 7

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by PWNYCNY 10 / 10

Perhaps David Lean's best movie.

The British colonial authorities use a contrived incident to stage a show trial to prove Indian inferiority and thereby further justify Britain's continued colonial occupation of India. Through clever directing, this movie appeals to the audience's sense of outrage at the British who are impervious to the loud and widespread demands that they leave India. The tension between the Indians and English soon becomes apparent. it is this tension that becomes the basis for the drama that unfolds. A young woman arrives in India and confronted by her own sexuality has a mental breakdown and accuses her companion, an Indian physician, of attempted rape. This allegation further widens the rift between the Indians and the British, and intensifies calls for the British to leave. This in turn makes the British even more determined to put the doctor on trial and get a conviction. The Indian defense counsel considered the trial a sham, protests get louder, yet the British continue undaunted. This sets the stage for even more dramatics, which will not be discussed here. To find out the exciting conclusion to this story, and how tensions,, get resolved, watch the movie. This movie is a great work of art.

Reviewed by snorlax3111984 10 / 10

Pros And Cons Of A Passage To India

Pros 1. I can definitely see why Peggy Ashcroft won a Supporting Actress Oscar for her role. She stands up for the rights of local Indians to be treated as human beings but does so without losing the decency and dignity expected of a British woman. It doesn't surprise me at all that Mrs. Moore could inspire a huge crowd to call out her name in desire for her to return.

2. A Passage To India was Sir David Lean's cinematic swan song and his first film in 14 years but he showed no sign of rusting with age. The visuals in this film are as unforgettable as any scene of the Middle East in Lawrence Of Arabia or of Russia in Dr. Zhivago. Lean also wrote the screenplay and the dialogue is endlessly fascinating.

3. Sir Alec Guinness is no stranger to Lean films and he really gets a plum role as Professor Godbole. Godbole's insistence on destiny sometimes makes him seem indifferent and uncaring (especially with his refusal to help Dr. Aziz) but there seems to be some truth to what he preaches. It's too bad a scene of Godbole performing a Hindu dance was cut from the movie.

4. I liked that they didn't make Ronnie a complete monster, he just wants to act in a way that allows him to maintain his job. To his credit, he does apologize to his mother for a particularly rude display in front of Mrs. Moore's new Indian friends. He also deserves credit for taking it so well when Adela keeps changing her mind on whether to marry him.

5. I am a big fan of Keeping Up Appearances so I was delighted when I saw Clive Swift was in this movie. He was in it very briefly but I relished every appearance he made. His character appears to be single (if only Richard Bucket were so lucky). I liked that Swift's character doesn't really say anything anti-Indian. Most of his lines are about concern for Adela or Ronnie's health (Clive Swift plays a doctor) and a brief conversation with the head of The British in India.

6. When the police come to arrest Dr. Aziz he moves to flee but Richard the kind teacher tells him "don't act like a criminal". I wish OJ Simpson had a friend like that. There is some similarities between Dr. Aziz being accused of raping a Caucasian woman and OJ being accused of killing 2 Caucasians. They both certainly causes a lot of racial tension. At least Dr. Aziz's acquittal was more accepted and less suspicious.

7. I loved how Godbole honored Mrs. Moore as she took the departing train ride. The only actor to win an Oscar for a Sir David Lean film saluting the only actress to win an Oscar for a Sir David Lean Film.

8. Best Line Any line spoken by Clive Swift's character

Cons: 1. Sir Alec Guinness is a great actor but did he have to play an Indian? Is their no caucasian role he could have taken?

2. I would have liked more information on what happens to Adela in the years after the trial. I don't think it's even mentioned if she left India. After the ordeal at the caves she doesn't seem to have a lot to do until her big scene at the trial.

3. Even in their most angry state, I have a hard time believing a British woman in the 20's would say "b----" in public

4. I don't get why the hotshot lawyer charges Dr. Aziz 20,000 pounds after the acquittal. It was clearly established the lawyer would do it pro bono. Dr. Aziz refuses Adela's aid in paying the lawyer but it's not mentioned how Dr. Aziz pays the fee.

Reviewed by disinterested_spectator 6 / 10

Another Movie Blames the Woman

This movie is set in India in the 1920s, when India was still a part of the British Empire. The movie itself, however, was produced in 1984, in a postcolonial world, where the collective judgment is that colonialism was simply wrong. In fact, it is regarded as so wrong that little room is left for subtlety or nuance. The Indians are all portrayed as good in one form or another (religious, moral, polite, kind, etc.), while the British are all portrayed as bad in one form or another (rude, inconsiderate, arrogant, bigoted, etc.), with only three exceptions: Adela, Mrs. Moore, and Fielding. Adela and Mrs. Moore are just setting out for India at the beginning of the movie, so they do not share the prejudices of the British that have been in India for a while. Dr. Aziz makes this explicitly clear when, after he and his friend are almost run over by an automobile full of British citizens, he says that all Englishmen become unpleasant within two years of coming to India, while he gives Englishwomen only six months.

Fielding is a special case. He has been in India for some time, and yet he retains his good qualities, being friendly with Indians and treating them with respect. That is so we have someone to identify with. You see, we all like to flatter ourselves that had we lived in some other time and place, we would somehow still have our American, twenty-first century values and sensibilities, and that we would have been moral heroes, refusing to go along with the norms and mores of that place and time. In other words, we are sure that had we been a British subject assigned to a post in India in the early twentieth century, we would have been just like Fielding, refusing to go along with our white countryman in their condemnation of an Indian (Dr. Aziz) who has been charged with attempted rape of a white woman (Adela). Without Fielding to identify with, we would have been adrift.

Adela goes bicycle riding by herself, and she decides to explore a seldom used path. It takes her to an abandoned building adorned by sculptures of men and women making love. And here we can detect an obvious Freudian influence. The sculptures arouse repressed sexual desires in Adela that distress her greatly. Then she notices a bunch of monkeys looking at her. Agitated, they start to chase her and she runs away. The monkeys represent her animal passions, and what she is really running away from is her own lust. On a previous evening, she had broken off her engagement with her fiancé, but upon returning, she tells him she has changed her mind and wants to get married. In other words, even though she no longer loves him, she figures it is better to marry than burn. Other Freudian symbolism consists of Aziz having a fever and the sweltering heat of the sun, which are suggestive of sexual heat.

When Adela and Mrs. Moore, Adela's prospective future mother-in-law, first arrived in India, they wanted to meet some Indians socially. They got no help in this regard from the British people that lived in India, who were appalled at the idea, but Aziz accidentally made the acquaintance of Mrs. Moore and through her Adela. He is so enamored of them that he invites them to a picnic in which they can visit some mysterious caves. Through one incredible coincidence after another, one by one, many of the people who were invited are eliminated: Fielding arrives too late, a chaperon arranged by Adela's fiancé is dismissed by her, and Mrs. Moore becomes fatigued and remains behind, so that only Aziz, Adela, and a guide arrive at some caves.

Aziz runs off to smoke a cigarette. This is nothing but a contrivance, the movie's way of allowing Adela to be alone. She enters a cave by herself. The cave, of course, represents her unconscious. When Aziz finishes his cigarette, he goes looking for her. He stands at the entrance to the cave as if about to enter. Now the cave represents her vagina. She becomes overwhelmed with her forbidden lust for Aziz and bolts, eventually falling down the hillside into some cactus. Just as she was really running from her sexual desires when she ran from the monkeys, so too here she runs from her desire for Aziz and not from Aziz himself. Being hysterical, she so vividly imagines being ravished by Aziz that she believes he actually assaulted her. As a result, charges are brought against Aziz.

Every white person thinks Aziz is guilty except Mrs. Moore, who says there is nothing she can do and returns to England (dying on the way), and Fielding, who asserts Aziz's innocence. Adela's fiancé is a judge, but he has to recuse himself. He is replaced by an Indian judge. During the trial, much is made of the fact that Aziz is a widower and therefore deprived of a sexual outlet, except for his occasional visits to brothels or his collection of girlie magazines. Needless to say, nothing similar is said about Adela's being a maiden who is also deprived of a sexual outlet. When Adela is put on the witness stand, she recants her previous testimony, and Aziz is acquitted. At this point, we realize why the judge had to be an Indian. If Aziz had gotten a fair trial from a white judge, this would have been out of keeping with the movie's simplistic formulation: Indians good; British bad.

So, as usually happens in a movie in which a man of color is accused of raping a white woman, he turns out to be innocent because the woman is to blame somehow: either the woman lied, was hysterical, or behaved in provocative manner. See, as examples, "Sergeant Rutledge" (1960), "To Kill a Mockingbird" (1962), and "Judge Horton and the Scottsboro Boys" (1976).

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