Pascali's Island (1988)
The year is 1908; after centuries of unchecked power, the Ottoman empire is rapidly crumbling. As a result, Turkey's secret agents--those that haven't already been eliminated by downsizing or death--operate in a vacuum, their superiors knowing little and caring less about their activities. One such spy is Ben Kingsley, a minor bureaucrat of no ambition. When ordered to help disreputable English citizens Charles Dance and Helen Mirren in the theft of a precious Greek artifact, Kingsley goes along without question. He is even prepared to follow orders and double-cross Dance the moment the robbery is pulled off. But as the film progresses, Kingsley becomes less and less of a by-the-book government functionary and more and more of an enigma--to Dance, to Mirren, to his country, to himself. More than your usual "caper" film, Pascali's Island has more layers than an artichoke. … More
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Critic Reviews for Pascali's Island
Despite an eye-catching but mannered central performance from Ben Kingsley, looms as too languid and remote to make much impact.
The milieu may seem remote but the performances illuminate, and the story has an originality that compensates for the modest budget.
Slow and stately, Pascali's Island never gets beneath its own superficial gentility.
A literary adaptation that takes itself so seriously one longs for Gilligan and the Skipper.
It is a mood piece, meditative, in which even the melodrama of the plot grows out of the flawed souls of the characters. Everything in a film like this depends on performance, and it is hard to imagine how it could have been better cast.
Helen Mirren has always been good at playing sexy eccentrics. But it is Kingsley's performance, as the despairing victim of his own actions, that makes this island worth a visit.
Audience Reviews for Pascali's Island
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Pascali's Island Quotes
- Anthony Bowles:
- Intelligent, literate, well acted, fully rounded story of human frailty, in a microcosm of the world's intrigue in the run-up to the first world war. Beautifully photographed in Rhodes.
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