Customer Reviews


49 Reviews
5 star:
 (25)
4 star:
 (11)
3 star:
 (6)
2 star:
 (3)
1 star:
 (4)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


156 of 162 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A TALE OF ROMANCE AND ADVENTURE IN BRITISH COLONIAL INDIA...
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...
Published on 17 Nov 2002 by Lawyeraau

versus
42 of 42 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too many departures from the book for my taste
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...
Published on 17 July 2008 by Cherie - An Avid Reader


‹ Previous | 1 25 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

42 of 42 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too many departures from the book for my taste, 17 July 2008
This review is from: The Far Pavilions [1984] [DVD] (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. The latter, in particular, combined just the right amount of gaudy splendour with noise and chaos.

Overall I felt this wasn't a terrible adaptation of the book, just not as good as I remembered, though my view of it probably suffered because I had read the book again so recently. Three and a half stars.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


156 of 162 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A TALE OF ROMANCE AND ADVENTURE IN BRITISH COLONIAL INDIA..., 17 Nov 2002
By 
Lawyeraau (Balmoral Castle) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Far Pavilions [1984] [DVD] (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. I, myself, was unable to tear myself away from the screen and was riveted for the full five hours that it took for this mesmerizing tale of adventure, love, and treachery to unfold.
With a star studded cast that includes the likes of Omar Shariff, Christopher Lee, Sir John Gielgud, and Rossano Brazzi, this is a film what will capture the viewer's imagination. I read and loved the novel upon which this film was based, and while it is not a faithful adaptation of that wonderful book, the film stands on its own considerable merits. It is meant to entertain and that it most certainly does.
This two disc DVD is somewhat limited in what it offers, however, in terms of features, which is limited to a scene index, some production notes, and a brief biography of M.M. Kaye. In terms of its quality, while the sound is good, the visuals are somewhat grainy at times and washed out looking. It is too bad that they decided to do the transfer from video to DVD on the cheap. In doing so, they did "The Far Pavilions" a disservice. Still, it is a DVD well worth having in one's collection, as the story is such a gripping tale.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Far Pavillions, 7 May 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Far Pavilions [1984] [DVD] (DVD)
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Evocative of Imperial Times, 3 Aug 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Far Pavilions [1984] [DVD] (DVD)
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A true trubut to the auther., 3 Aug 2001
By A Customer
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!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A TALE OF ROMANCE AND ADVENTURE IN BRITISH COLONIAL INDIA..., 2 Jan 2003
By 
Lawyeraau (Balmoral Castle) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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 British 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. I, myself, was unable to tear myself away from the screen and was riveted for the full five hours that it took for this mesmerizing tale of adventure, love, and treachery to unfold.
With a star studded cast that includes the likes of Omar Shariff, Christopher Lee, Sir John Gielgud, and Rossano Brazzi, this is a film what will capture the viewer's imagination. I read and loved the novel upon which this film was based, and while it is not a faithful adaptation of that wonderful book, the film stands on its own considerable merits. It is meant to entertain and that it most certainly does, as it is such a gripping tale of romance and adventure.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Viewing, 22 July 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Far Pavilions [1984] [DVD] (DVD)
I read the book of the Far pavilions in the 80's and thought it was brilliant. I saw the original television series and thoroughly enjoyed it. I have just finished reading the book again and liked it so much I bought the DVD. It hasn't aged and keeps closely to the book.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Better than I remembered, 15 Aug 2011
By 
Zilpah (Halesowen, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Far Pavilions [1984] [DVD] (DVD)
I first became acquainted with the work of M M Kaye in the 1970s when I read the excellent Shadow of the Moon and Trade Winds. Then during the 1980s when the mini-series of The Far Pavilions was shown on TV I found it so melodramatic in some parts and long and drawn-out in others I gave up half way through.

This summer I decided to read The Far Pavilions and thoroughly enjoyed the book. The historical detail in the story is fascinating, particulary as M M Kaye interweaves fictional characters such as Ash and Anjuli with factual ones like Wigram Battye and Wally Hamilton. These days the reader can easily find out more background about these historical characters, the British in India and the Corps of Guides on the internet.

Intrigued, I ordered the DVD of the 1980s mini-series to complement my newly re-discovered epic. The first thing to notice was its bargain price, then when I put it on my player the reason became clear and I was disappointed to find that the film has a sandy hue. It seems the colours have faded over time and little or no restoration has been made to the original film. However once I got accustomed to this, the story bowls along and the action is on the whole faithful to the book.

Ash's early life is summarised in the long drawn-out eighties-style title sequence, which the viewer is unfortunately subjected to a potted version of at the beginning of each episode. There are various minor changes made in the film which are different to the book and were probably necessary to make up for missing details, for example the Ash who was so private in the book, is telling anecdotes about his past to other European characters. There is a top quality cast of actors such as Ben Cross, Robert Hardy and Art Malik and although a number of major roles were played by non-Indian actors, Christopher Lee, Omar Sharif and Rossano Brazzi were all excellent in their roles however all the dark make-up was distracting and unnecessary. Ben Cross puts in an excellent performance in the lead role but I was faintly disturbed by the casting of Amy Irvine as Anjuli. She wasn't very animated for a young girl in love and while very beautiful she looked so much older than Ben Cross on the screen. I put this down to the dark makeup.

Here is a heady mix of romance, politics and epic storytelling and by the end of the 6 hours I felt that I had been thoroughly entertained. I was humming the romantic music score by Carl Davis for many days afterwards. I cannot fault the fabulous locations, the lavish costumes, the sweeping landscape and the cinematography and conclude that this is an adequate tribute to a wonderful story about romance, the Corps of Guides and nineteenth century India under the 'Raj'.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not a patch on the book, 9 Dec 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Far Pavilions [1984] [DVD] (DVD)
The book is awesome a slowly evolving love story, the film is at best OK. If the book didn't exist then this would be OK in it's own right. Sadly this evolves too fast and misses out so much of his childhood. Would be great to see a remake, in particular using Indian actors not blacking up westerners.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must watch, 28 Sep 2007
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Far Pavilions [1984] [DVD] (DVD)
Indeed a classic of its own kind which would give a crash course of Indian culture and its customs during the times of British Raj in 19th century. It is an excellent effort to picture the all time best seller of M.M Kay, which is a romantic tale of a child who was born to an English aristocratic family and raised by an Indian foster mother who saved his life during the 1857 mutiny. The boy who considered himself an Indian spent a few days of his life in Gulkote, an Indian Imperial State, as a servant to the maharaja. He met the love of his life, the little half cast princess Anjuli Bai and was later sent to England by his English guardians. The movie is a fantastic effort to depict his return to India as an English army officer, the circumstances in which he met his beloved and his participation as a spy in afghan war.
For those who have a taste of classic movies, "The Far Pavilions" is a must watch...
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 25 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

The Far Pavilions [1984] [DVD]
The Far Pavilions [1984] [DVD] by Ben Cross (DVD - 2005)
£19.13
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews