A Passage to India (1984) is a fine film, a grand and lavish epic, handsomely mounted, based on the E.M. Forster novel, published in 1924 during the days of colonial England. It’s a valuable story. The values of East and West meet romantically, but also comes with a hefty dose of realism where East and West clash. British daughter-in-law and mother-in-law travel to India to with be with her fiancé and explore this exotic country. But she is caught up in a scandal, claiming an Indian doctor, who was her escort on a day trip, violated her. Controversy erupts and the locals stand by the doctor, saying he is innocent and the British are unjust. The larger meaning is the relationship between England and colonial India. The human meaning is prejudice and fear of the unknown. A Passage to India is beautifully filmed, wonderfully acted, and larger than life-like characters engage vividly and vitally. It is especially recommended for thoughtful audiences and fine film aficionados. Rating: 10/10
The fictional drama of an Austrian court composer’s revenge on Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is scintillating, and scandalous. Composer Salieri is jealous of Mozart’s musical ability and his outlandish behavior puts him offside even more. He blames God for giving a greater gift to this “trained monkey”, as he calls Mozart, and not to himself. His confession of revenge to a Catholic priest recalls Salieri meeting Mozart and how their professional and personal relationship was tainted. The production values of Amadeus (1984) are done to the hilt—wonderful to behold, immaculate. Rating: 10/10
I was going to send my copy of Dante’s Divine Comedy to the second hand bookshop, but thought better of it, because one day I may miss this book. Besides, by today’s standards, the Divine Comedy is classical and rare, a book I will want to keep.