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Holy Smoke opens deliriously in a magical India, saturated with light, colour, sensuality. Celebrated by Neil Diamond's opening anthem, "Holly Holy", Ruth Baron (Kate Winslet, delivering a breathtakingly luminous performance) explores a world that encourages spiritual epiphany--and falls hard for the cartoonish guru who opens her "third eye". Back home in Australia, her hilariously dysfunctional, distinctly down-to-earth family hires hotshot deprogrammer PJ Waters (Harvey Keitel, his dyed hair and cowboy boots telegraphing desperate machismo) to cure Ruth. In an isolated Outback shack, the two of them wrestle each other for control of their souls--and bodies, too. This duel's in deadly earnest: Ruth assaults Waters's petrified masculinity; PJ aims to strip this radiant girl of her unexamined faith.
Their wild ride--funny, brutal, erotic--towards brand-new selfhood is punctuated by indelible images: Ruth dancing in a white sari beside an emu corral; naked in the night, Ruth offering her lush body to her tormentor; lost in the desert, cross-dressed in red gown, PJ "saved" by a golden vision of Ruth as a magnificent Indian goddess. For those who love the way movies can sometimes project truth and beauty, Holy Smoke is a feast for the eyes and mind. --Kathleen Murphy, Amazon.com
On the DVD: Holy Smoke sees good overall quality of the 1.85:1 anamorphic transfer, with the graininess coming from the film rather than the transfer. The soundtrack (which is mostly populated with Neil Diamond tracks) is rich, but what really raises this DVD above mediocrity though (and it had to be something seeing as it is woefully short of extras) is the commentary track. Winslet and cowriter Anna Campion (Jane's sister) are given free reign to talk about their experiences of filming Holy Smoke as well as their thoughts on India, cults and nudity. The result is always interesting, often entertaining and fans of Winslet will fall in love with the graceful star all over again. --Kristen Bowditch
holy smoke [dvd] was of good quality good story line good value for moneyPublished 1 month ago by duckerdek
I bought this as I generally like Kate's work plus I thought it would be sensual. It is not. It is not believable and it's not even interesting. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Stephen Morse
The film story line is a tad weird i found, but the acting was very good.Cant say I would watch it again but was mildly entertaining.Published 17 months ago by Mike UK11
Kate Winslet's character finds something deeper than her trash family in an Indian Swarmi.
Informed on by her friend, Winslet is coerced home to awaiting therapy;... Read more
it starts out well - a reasonably interesting premise, albeit not particularly original, and some good shooting of the indian phantasmagoria. Read morePublished on 7 Dec. 2011 by R. Altman
Strangely compelling odd ball film which is definately different . Winslet is brilliant and extremely sexy and Keitel is creepy and definately unforgetable in his red dress ! Read morePublished on 28 July 2011 by cartoon