Freida Pinto stars as a poor girl from the country who falls in love with a son of a hotel tycoon in Trishna, a movie that appears to be a romantic drama until things get much, much more messed up. Beautifully filmed and consistently engaging, Trishna is an intriguing movie that suffers from an overlong running time and a questionable final scene.
Trishna meets Jay (Riz Ahmed) as he's vacationing in her town. After her father is injured in a car accident, she accepts an offer from Jay to travel to his father's hotel to earn money for her family. There, their relationship begins.
To say anything more would ruin the movie.
I went into Trishna dark, having never read a synopsis or even watched the trailer. As the movie progresses, and as it starts to feel aimless toward the end of the second act, I began writing this movie review in my head. Beautiful. Freida Pinto. Not bad. Forgettable. Increasingly aimless. All those words were floating around.
And then the tone of the movie changes. At first it looks like Trishna is just unhappy with her life. She's going to leave Jay and return to Mumbai to pursue her career as a Bollywood dancer. She's going to make the right choice. But director Michael Winterbottom, working off a script and novel by Thomas Hardy, doesn't take it in the direction I was expecting. Things get darker, and then things get really dark, and then, suddenly, I'm paying attention just a little more.
Trishna isn't so aimless.
Unfortunately, the story progresses one scene too long. Not even a scene too long. About thirty seconds too long. Trishna was wrapping up perfectly, and then it ends with something that is so predictable, so utterly unsatisfying, that it nearly ruins the movie. Had Winterbottom ended moments earlier, he would have had an ending that inspired debate and discussion. Instead, Trishna arouses nothing more than a shrug.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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