The River (1959)
Average Rating: 7.4/10
Reviews Counted: 21
Fresh: 18 | Rotten: 3
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 4
Fresh: 4 | Rotten: 0
Average Rating: 3.8/5
User Ratings: 1,952
The River must be seen in its original Technicolor; it is difficult, if not impossible, to imagine anyone fully enjoying this wonderful film while watching a black-and-white TV print. Adapted by director Jean Renoir and Rumer Godden from Godden's own novel, the film is set on the banks of West Bengal. The central character is teenaged British girl Harriet (Patricia Walters), the offspring of a jute-mill owner (Esmond Knight) and his wife (Nora Swinburne). Harriet and her best friend Valerie
Sep 10, 1959 Limited
Mar 1, 2005
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Thomas E. Breen
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Withal, the illustrations of the country are beautiful beyond words-the serenity of the river, the power of boatmen sweeping its stream, the bazaars full of color and movement, [and] the dazzling brilliance of festivals.
Renoir fashioned what might be his sweetest movie about family and one of the post-war years' most serene cinematic statements.
a delicate tapestry of images that evoke a different way of life, of thinking, and of relating to the world
Renoir's location work in India and his semi-documentary excursions look great, juxtaposed as they are with his bold fantasy sequences evoking India's spiritual life.
...the plot is only the bread on which Renoir layers his meditations on life's cyclical flow from birth to death and the changes in between.
The River is a sumptuous visual feast, yet another example ... of Renoir's amazing ability at using his camera as a paintbrush.
So beautifully innocent and innocently beautiful that its peaceful wisdom transcends reality.
Jean Renoir has preserved the spirit of Mother India as well as any western filmmaker
The film's scenario is merely a loose framework for emphasizing its setting through various festivals, bazaars, and imaginative legends.
Some of the politics may not have aged well but its rich colours and passions burn as bright as the day it was made.
Anyone who still believes in family sentiment, but is disheartened by Hollywood's characteristically mawkish and insincere treatment of it, is urged to immediately take a voyage on Renoir's River.
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