I just discovered this movie, which I must have missed when it was originally released. I am a big fan of Greta Scacchi since I saw her in "White Mischief" and I just lately admired Julie Christie in "Away from her". In the eighties, I went myself on an exploration trip through India and have been fascinated with this country forever. I was really looking forward to see the movie.
I was a little bit amused to see Greta Scacchi again cast in the role of the adulterous wife in colonial times. In White Mischief, she decides first against poor Hughes Grant and marries a much older wealthy man, only to fall later for a dashing tall British officer in Kenya. In "Heat and Dust", she, playing Olivia is happily married to the dashing tall British officer but cannot resist a pompous wealthy Indian prince. I wonder if casting directors think that beauties like Greta have to be the toys of rich men? While Greta is constantly naked in "White Mischief" there is only one half nude scene in "Heat and Dust" and she is not yet quite as stunning as she is in "White Mischief". However, her character dominates above the character of Julie Christie and not only because of her beauty. The movie's charm is supposed to be the juxtaposition of the India in the 1920s versus the India in the 1980s. Julie Christie, as Ann explores the life of her great-ant, Olivia, who scandalously left her husband for the Indian nawab, but ended up living alone in the Himalayas...
Both women fall for Indian men and both get pregnant. Olivia decides to abort the child, as she is not sure if it is her husbands or the nawab's child.
The movie is filmed at the same locations. In the colonial times everything looks splendid and well maintained, in the eighties things have deteriorated . But all in all it gives an interesting insight in Indian life.
Maybe the more exotic and luxurious costumes and decorations in the 1920segments make this part of the movie more memorable. The affairs in-between the British women and the Indian men are only sketchily shown, but it is made clear that they were as unacceptable in the 20s as they were in the 80s by both sides. The Indian society is governed by even more rules than the British one.
This was Greta Scacchi first major film out of drama school , but she leaves a much stronger impression than Julie Christie, who took this role over a better paying offer for another film.
Definitely, a very beautiful and entertaining film and worth while to have in a DVD collection.
Heat and Dust
Drama / Romance
Heat and Dust
Drama / Romance
Anne is investigating the life of her grand-aunt Olivia, whose destiny has always been shrouded with scandal. The search leads back to the early 1920s, when Olivia, recently married to Douglas, a civil servant in the colonial administration, comes to live with him in India. Slowly, Olivia becomes fascinated by India and by the local ruler, a nawab who combines British distinction with Indian pomp and ruthlessness. This fascination is not without risks: the region is being ransacked by a group of sanguinary bandits, and intrigues are opposing the prejudiced British community led by Major Minnies and Dr. Saunders against the nawab. As Anne delves into the history of her grand-aunt, she is led to reconsider her own life.
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April 26, 2019 at 03:07 PM