Derek Winnert


This article was written on 05 Dec 2017, and is filled under Reviews.

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Bombay Talkie *** (1970, Shashi Kapoor, Jennifer Kendal, Zia Mohyeddin) – Classic Movie Review 6358

Director James Ivory’s 1970 Indian film-studio set romantic drama stars the husband and wife team of Shashi Kapoor and Jennifer Kendal.

Jennifer Kendal plays Lucia Lane, an English writer who goes to Bombay from America to watch the filming of one of her novels. There she meets the film’s leading man, a vain married Bollywood movie star called Vikram (Shashi Kapoor), and a poor screenwriter named Hari (Zia Mohyeddin) who offers to show her around. Lucia only has eyes for matinée idol Vikram.

Screen-writer Ruth Prawer Jhabvala (with the director Ivory) deals with the clash of cultures and keeps up the level of interest with the fates of the characters, as well as the Indian film-making movie backdrop. But the story does gradually lose its compelling hold after its strong start. However, the skillful Ivory and his talented, charming actors still keep Bombay Talkie on track, though.

Also in the cast are Aparna Sen, Updal Dutt, Nadira and Pinchoo Kapoor.

This Merchant-Ivory film is shot by Subrata Mitra, produced by Ismail Merchant and scored by Shankar Jaikishan.

Iconic Indian superstar actor Shashi Kapoor died on 4 December 2019 at 79.

Jennifer Kendal, sister of Felicity and daughter of actor Geoffrey, married Shashi Kapoor in July 1958. She died from cancer at 50 in 1984.

© Derek Winnert 2017 Classic Movie Review 6358

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