A 'WARRIOR' QUEST OF ANCIENT INDIA.Byline: Bob Strauss Film Critic
'THE WARRIOR'S'' British director, Asif Kapadia, refers to his first feature film as an Eastern. This tale of a Rajput fighter's crisis of conscience is definitely that. Set long, long ago and filmed in the searing sear 1
v. seared, sear·ing, sears
1. To char, scorch, or burn the surface of with or as if with a hot instrument. See Synonyms at burn1.
2. desert of Rajasthan and the snowy Himalayas, it's an Indian distillation of ideas drawn from hundreds of samurai and cowboy movies.
Despite its unique elements and eye-popping landscapes, though, ``Warrior'' feels a little too distilled. For all its primal power, the story seems familiar. Kapadia's nongraphic way of staging violent action gets the point across without feeling quaint, but it fails to generate ``Braveheart''-style excitement (or ``Seven Samurai'' quality). And there is a lot of long, slow trekking across the sand that makes for some lovely pictures of dunes but tends to bore.
That acknowledged, ``Warrior'' is just as often engaging and suspenseful, and never less than thoughtful. Working in his ancestral homeland with a mostly amateur, local cast, Kapadia proves himself a talented all-around filmmaker.
The story, co-written by the director and Tim Miller, could not be any more basic. Lafcadia (Irfan Khan There are multiple individuals named Irfan Khan, including:
A child between middle childhood and adolesence, usually between 8 and 12 years old.
[Blend of teen1 and between.] son Katiba (Puru Chhibber), whom he is lovingly teaching the traditional ways of the Rajput warrior. Lafcadia works for the greedy local warlord warlord, in modern Chinese history, autonomous regional military commander. In the political chaos following the death (1916) of republican China's first president and commander in chief, Yüan Shih-kai, central authority fell to the provincial military governors ; his job is to behead be·head
tr.v. be·head·ed, be·head·ing, be·heads
To separate the head from; decapitate.
[Middle English biheden, from Old English beh peasants and destroy their villages when they don't pony up a big enough share of their crops.
Lafcadia has a mystical epiphany during one such raid and vows never to lift a sword again. His cruel boss views this as betrayal and orders Lafcadia's closest comrade Biswas (Aino Annuddin) to kill him. A different kind of tragedy occurs, and Lafcadia sets out alone for the mountain village he came from. Along the way, and with shades of Noun 1. shades of - something that reminds you of someone or something; "aren't there shades of 1948 here?"
reminder - an experience that causes you to remember something ``The Outlaw Josey Wales Wales, Welsh Cymru, western peninsula and political division (principality) of Great Britain (1991 pop. 2,798,200), 8,016 sq mi (20,761 sq km), west of England; politically united with England since 1536. The capital is Cardiff. ,'' he attracts a kind of ad hoc For this purpose. Meaning "to this" in Latin, it refers to dealing with special situations as they occur rather than functions that are repeated on a regular basis. See ad hoc query and ad hoc mode. , surrogate family. The main member is an adolescent thief (played quite effectively by a real homeless boy, Noor Mani Mani (mä`nē): see Manichaeism.
or Manes or Manichaeus
(born April 14, 216, southern Babylonia—died 274?, Gundeshapur) Persian founder of Manichaeism. , that Kapadia found in Bombay) whose own parents were killed by warriors like Lafcadia.
As the film moves from treeless wastelands and dusty towns to forested hillsides, glaciers and restorative lakes, ``The Warrior'' increasingly becomes a tale told by natural symbolism. In that way, Kapadia definitely rises above the kind of generic storytelling we've seen so often from other parts of the world.
Bob Strauss, (818) 713-3670
THE WARRIOR - Two and one half stars
(R: violence, children in jeopardy)
Starring: Irfan Khan, Noor Mani, Aino Annuddin, Puru Chhibber
Director: Asif Kapadia.
Running time: 1 hr. 28 min.
Playing: Arclight, Hollywood; Laemmle Royal, West L.A.
In a nutshell: Stunning-looking, somewhat too simple tale of a warrior in ancient India whose decision to give up his sword leads to dire consequences. In Hindi with English subtitles.