Directed by: Franz Osten
Countries & Regions: India, United Kingdom
Studio: British Film Institute
Length: 74 mins
Region: Region 2
Released: 29 October 2007
Cat No: BFIVD734
Screen ratio 1:1.33
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A Throw of Dice
Classic silent movie in which two rival kings addicted to gambling, Ranjit (Charu Roy) and the evil Sohan (Himansu Rai), also vie for the... Read More
This is a real treasure from the archives; a beautiful print of an Indian silent film, shot on location in the palaces and countryside of Rajasthan, that brings to life an episode of the Mahabarata. It tells of the rival Kings Ranjit and Sohan, both addicted to gambling. Sohan craves Ranjit’s kingdom, attempting to kill him during a tiger hunt, but Ranjit is nursed back to health by his old teacher, and falls in love with his daughter Sunita, who is also coveted by Sohat. On the eve of Ranjit and Sunita's wedding, Sohat arrives with his wedding gift, an exquisite set of dice. Would King Ranjit perhaps like a game before the ceremony? Ranjit cannot resist and soon his life, kingdom and the woman he loves are his stake.
This is a more intimate film than its 10,000 extras, 1000 horses and 50 elephants would lead you to imagine. Its cinematography is notable too, from some memorably lovely close-ups, especially during Ranjit and Sunita’s budding romance, to moments of surprisingly mobile camerawork. Nitin Sawhney's sympathetic score provides admirable accompaniment.