How far would you go for love?

Freida Pinto (Slumdog Millionaire) stars in this modern day, Indian set adaptation of Thomas Hardy's tragic novel Tess of the d'Urbervilles. Directed by Michael Winterbottom (The Trip).... More

Set in contemporary Rajasthan, Trishna (Pinto) meets wealthy British businessman Jay (Riz Ahmed, Four Lions) who has come to India to work in his father's hotel business. Trishna works for Jay, and they fall in love. Despite their feelings, they cannot escape the conflicting pressures of a rural society which is changing rapidly through industrialisation, urbanisation and education. Trishna's tragedy is that she is torn between the traditions of her family life and the dreams and ambitions that her education has given her.Hide

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Flicks Review

British director Michael Winterbottom is known for his versatility, his repertoire including A Mighty Heart, 24 Hour Party People and the controversially sexual 9 Songs. Once again he throws viewers into another world, transporting Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the d’Urbevilles to present-day India.... More

Tess becomes Trishna, played by Slumdog Millionaire star Freida Pinto, whose striking beauty is her character’s greatest gift and curse. Winterbottom cleverly twists a Victorian fable of power and exploitation into a thoroughly modern and tragic love story.

If Slumdog and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel are tour guide movies, Trishna goes off the beaten track, spanning India’s poor and wealthy from the hard-living rural life of the protagonist’s roots in Rajasthan to the glossy, kitsch Bollywood world she finds herself drawn to in Mumbai.

Trishna’s identity fluctuates throughout as she navigates her way from labourer to glamorous city-dweller to servant, and Pinto plays the character with strength and humility, despite the increasingly degrading things she’s subjected to. When life doesn’t pan out as expected, however, there’s a moment where the actors feel lost and what happens next feels forced.

Using a naturalistic style that almost lends it a documentary feel, Trishna drags its way through the first hour and steams through the second. As the drama begins to develop, it’s moving but jarring, as though panic has set in. The result is a film that is intoxicating, emotional and exhausting. You’ll feel like you’ve been to India and back.Hide

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The Press Reviews

66% of critics recommend.
Rotten Tomatoes Score. More reviews on Rotten Tomatoes

  • The ever-versatile Winterbottom's loose and limber adaptation doesn't entirely mesh with Hardy's more formal narrative, leaving this feeling disjointed and underpowered. Nevertheless, there's still plenty to enjoy in the director's customary flourishes. Full Review

  • Winterbottom's location work in Jaipur and Mumbai has richness and spectacle, but somehow this does not come fully to life. Full Review

  • An admirable but disappointing effort, then. By no means Winterbottom’s worst but some way off the heights of Butterfly Kiss and In This World. Full Review

  • On the one hand the original's complex texture is gravely weakened; on the other, the rambling narrative structure is transformed into a taut fable. Full Review

  • Some will balk at Pinto’s passivity, but Trishna again shows Winterbottom to be one of the few directors today who are liberated, rather than constricted, by classic literature. Full Review

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