The Far Pavilions 1983

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Epic adaptation of M.M. Kaye's novel. Englishman Ash (Ben Cross) was orphaned at the age of four, but was saved from the Indian Mutiny by a Hindu foster mother who brought him up as her own. Only on her deathbed did she reveal Ash's true origins to him, and he finds himself torn between the British and Indian establishments as he tries to win the hand of Anjula (Amy Irving), his childhood friend, now an Indian princess already betrothed to a local ruler.

Starring:
Omar Sharif, Benedict Taylor
Rental Formats:
DVD

Product Details

Discs
  • Far Pavilions, The - Disc 1 parental_guidance
  • Far Pavilions, The - Disc 2 parental_guidance
Runtime 5 hours 10 minutes
Starring Omar Sharif, Benedict Taylor, Saeed Jaffrey, Amy Irving, Ben Cross, Rossano Brazzi, Robert Hardy
Director Peter Duffell
Genres Drama
Studio ACORN MEDIA
Rental release 6 August 2001
Main languages English

Other Formats

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

41 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Cherie - An Avid Reader on 17 July 2008
Format: DVD
When I first saw this adaptation for TV in the 1980s, I thought it was a fantastic recreation of M M Kaye's epic story of Anjuli and Ash which I had read some years previously. However, having recently reread the book, and followed it up with this DVD, I have to admit that this time round it fell well short of my expectations.

My first gripe is that the story has been changed quite a lot, so that first quarter of the book, dealing with Ash's early life, is covered in the opening credits plus a couple of flashbacks. Additionally, instead of keeping his background quiet, Ash now spouts off about it to virtually everyone he meets, which changes his character somewhat. And thirdly, the book has the Afghan war as the final scene, whereas this film uses the rescue of Anjuli from Bithor. Whilst I understand these changes are probably for the purposes of pace and dramatic effect, for me they spoilt my enjoyment of the film, since the gradual alienation of Ash from the British, Hindu and finally the Moslem communities is not fully explained, and the aftermath of Anjuli's rescue is glossed over as she and Ash ride off into the sunset.

The film is split up into a number of episodes, but after I'd watched the lengthy opening credits for the third time, I began to wish that, before converting it to DVD, it had been edited into a continuous whole. I also felt rather let down by the casting of the film. For my money, Ben Cross was just too short, and Amy Irving (Anjuli) looked as if her face had been covered in plaster of Paris, since her expression hardly ever changed. The child actors were also a bit wooden. However, the Indian cast were mostly fantastic, and the scenes of India, and particularly the bridal cortege, were great.
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156 of 161 people found the following review helpful By Lawyeraau HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 17 Nov 2002
Format: DVD
Based upon M. M. Kaye's best selling novel of the same name, this film is well acted and absorbing. It is a story set during the time of the British Raj in India. The two characters central to the film are Ash (Ben Cross), an Englishman who spent the formative years of his life believing that he was Indian, and Anjuli (Amy Irving), a half caste Indian princess. Ash and Anjuli spent a portion of their childhood growing up together, until palace intrigues forced Ash and his Indian foster mother to flee. As a prepubescent youth, he is informed of his English heritage and sent to England for his education and Anglicization.
Returning to India many years later as a young man, Ash becomes a part of a British regiment called the Guides. He has some difficulties adjusting, as he is not an Englishman comfortable in his own skin, as he also feels Indian in many ways, a view that brings him conflict due to the way the native Indian population is viewed by the British. Meanwhile, Anjuli has continued living as a half caste Indian princess. She and Ash have not seen each other since he and his foster Indian mother fled, and she has no idea that Ash is not Indian, but British.
The film is an amazing cornucopia of adventure and romance. It provides a tantalizing glimpse into colonial India. All of this, however, merely serves to propel the story towards the uniting of Ash and Anjuli, as the film is, first and foremost, a love story set against the romantic and lush backdrop of colonial India. When the paths of these star crossed lovers intersect, it is under a most unusual set of circumstances. It is a story that will keep the viewer riveted to the screen.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By mufuliraman on 7 May 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This book seems somehow to have been eclipsed by the film/dvd of The Jewel in the Crown. I see no reason for this, the book is beautifully written by a lady who was married to a senior British Officer of the old school - she really knew her stuff!
In the dvd this is shown by some lavish scenes such as the Royal procession taking the two Indian Princesses to the "bad" Prince's lair.
Very few films about India in Victorian days really express the sheer size and scale of baggage trains which followed both military and civilian expeditions, they literally stretched for miles and were lucky if they managed more than 10 miles per day.
The love interest is nicely done as are the fight and travel scenes. As someone who is familiar with the mountains of the North-West Province of what used to be British India (now split between Pakistan and India)I can say the filming is well upto my standards and expectations.
If you like lavish love stories interspersed with military derring-do, super costumes and scenery - this is for you. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By GeeJayBee on 3 Aug 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
A rather gentle-paced love story set in late 19th Century India under British rule. Stellar ensemble cast with no real stand-out performances. Ben Cross and Omar Sharif give probably the best and Amy Irving is somewhat weak and unconvincing as an Indian Half-Caste.
DVD transfer not the greatest and the menu system is very poor and confusing. However 5 hrs of very good period drama is nothing to be sniffed at in these TV-Austere times.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 3 Aug 2001
Format: VHS Tape
This film is a tribute to the book as so many films are not. Set in India, it gives the pefect background to a magical love story. The film will have you sitting back, smooching one moment and sitting on the edge of your seats the next. The acting is also of the highest caliber and the characters really portray the people that would have been living in India at that time. Every single costume or prop is detailed down to the last millimetre for authenticity. i think it is truly hats off to Mr Duffell!
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