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Movie Info

Mild-mannered composer Jason Kinsky (David Thewlis) hires Shandurai (Thandie Newton), a medical student and recent immigrant from Africa, to work as a part-time maid in his home. As the repressed maestro observes his intoxicating new employee, Shandurai reveals herself to be a free spirit with a captivating sadness. And, when Kinsky suddenly declares his undying love for her, she sends him on a dark journey into the depths of passion, jealousy and political intrigue.

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Critic Reviews for Besieged

All Critics (48) | Top Critics (17) | Fresh (36) | Rotten (12)

Audience Reviews for Besieged

  • Jul 24, 2009
    Besieged was an useless combination of political and romantic drama, wandering back and forth between the two leads that never really had reached each other. The movie had an interesting beginning with the imprisonment of Shandurai's husband, but the story gradually fell apart after that. There was no emotional force driving the events in the movie and there was never any satisfying realization of Shandurai's sadness. It was fine performance by Thandie Newton in the lead, but Bertolucci's lack to balance out the two halves of the story, stopped the characters from reaching their full potential, and so we could not seen a fascinating drama. Too bad.
    Daisy M Super Reviewer
  • Aug 13, 2008
    Always marvelous to watch, Thandie Newton is the main attraction, but there are plenty of other beauties in Bertollucci's delicate portrait of a woman estranged from her culture.
    Rhady N Super Reviewer
  • Jul 31, 2007
    Found the pacing to be a bit too languid.
    Steve K Super Reviewer
  • May 24, 2007
    A graceful, visually exquisite piece that (on a second watch) works for me despite its flaws. The languid nature of the narrative is obviously a detractor as far as audience connection goes, but it works to establish an enigmatic presence for both of the main characters. The story has a poetic sensibility that allows us to discard some of our expectations as to what the movie is going to deliver. David Thewlis is brilliant, as always, and Thandie Newton is very strong too. That's saying a lot, since the actors have very little dialogue to establish their performances with. Watch it once, think about it, and then watch it again.
    Mike T Super Reviewer

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