Saturday, October 20, 2007


THE VOYEURS is an unsatisfactory film. To be sure, it has some amiable characters, some good spoofs of Indian media culture and lecherous film directors, and a fascination with the hidden lives of ordinary people. But this is set against an over-long run-time, a lack of narrative pace, symbolism that seems to serve no function, and a plot twist that jars with the gentle, whimsical tone of the majority of the film. The film is set in Calcutta and shows two naive computer geeks installing a hidden camera in the room of the beautiful dancer next door. Despite the sinister nature of this action, it's actually rather innocent. They never watch her undress: they simply want to gaze at her image in the manner of gazing at a movie star poster. She is disenchanted by the cruel nature of the Calcutta film industry. They are done for being peeping toms with cruel consequences. In between we have wonderful vignettes exposing the reality of ordinary life in a poor Indian city - a refreshing change from laminated Bollywood super-hits. We also have some beautiful photography - lots of slow 360 sweeps of interiors and crane shots of the alleys of Calcutta. However, while THE VOYEURS adopts a ponderous pace, it has none of the drive or depth of a Madhur Bhandarkar film, or a meticulous drama like THE NAMESAKE. A disappointment.

THE VOYEURS played Toronto and London 2007.

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