Lafcadia is the leader of a group of warriors hired by a local lord to enforce his rule among the people. When he is ordered to punish a village that has failed to pay tribute, Lafcadia renounces his violent ways and sets off on a journey to the mountain village in which he was born. The lord then dispatches Biswas, Lafcadia's second-in-command, to track-down the former warrior and punish his betrayal with death.
The images of Asif Kapadia's first feature film, The Warrior
, sear themselves in the mind: the warrior practising with his sword in front of a half-alive tree, or a close-up of a scorpion scuttling across the desert as a camel cart goes by. Restrained beauty pervades the film in the choice of locations, costumes and the framing of each shot, but those unaccustomed to art cinema will feel the absence of story in this visual, mystical odyssey which uses few words, as looks and images carry the film. Irfan Khan brings a quiet, powerful presence of haunting intensity to the role an Indian "samurai", seemingly a homage to Kurosawa. The warrior has an epiphany after a bloodthirsty encounter that leads him to abandon his life in the desert and head for the pure snows of the Himalayas. This film (that repays repeat viewing and introduces major new talent) is likely to become a landmark.
On the DVD: The Warrior's picture quality on disc does justice to the film and the extras are rewarding. The young director is sincere and reflective, as shown in his scene-by-scene commentary and on the deleted material, the latter lasting over an hour. The making of documentary is absorbing. --Rachel Dwyer
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.