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6 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Nice taking on Rudyard Kipling novel which provides amusing and fun

6/10
Author: ma-cortes
17 June 2009

This is a new and robust rendition of Rudyard Kipling's famous Indian story, adapted previously in Hollywood style by Victor Saville(1950). Along with ¨Captain courageous¨and ¨Jungle book¨ are the Kipling books' most known. In this TV adaptation, Kim(Ravi Sheth, Dean Stockwell similar role) is a young boy living on his owns in the slums of India in 19th century(1894). Kim is 15-years-old and disguising as native, but he's actually Brit origin. He encounters a monk Lama(Peter O'Toole,in role of Paul Lukas), a holy man.The boy wishes to be his disciple and he's looking for a red bull and the Buddhist Lama on search for a river where Budda hurled an arrow turning into a place of redemption. Kim also befriends an Afghan horses dealer named Mahbub Ali(Bryan Brown , Errol Flynn character). But when British military discover his origin he's placed in a English college. Kim goes on as British spy and is trained by English service secret(John Rhys Davies). Then Kim receives orders from a British Colonel(Julian Glover, lookalike role of Robert Douglas) who assigns him a risked mission. The story is set in several locations filmed in India, as Northern frontier, Lahore barracks, Bunar, Umbella barracks, Delhi, Shaharampre, and Indian mountains nearly Himalaya where are developed the final scenes as the fighting against Russian spies in a daring mission.

Stars Peter O'Toole makes an excellent acting as weak and broody monk, also Bryan Brown as astute adventurer/spy but young boy , in the title role, steals the show. Although relies heavily on the relationship between the boy and Lama , the movie is quite entertaining, providing some intense excitement, however is overlong. Cinematography by Michael Reeves is atmospheric but in television style, isn't as glamorous as old version in glimmer Technicolor by William Skall. Atmospheric and modern musical score by Marc Williamson however isn't as spectacular as the classic by Andre Previn. The motion picture is professionally directed by British John Davies, an usual television director. Rating : Acceptable and passable.

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6 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Beautifully cast, acted and filmed

10/10
Author: daydream58 from Victoria, BC
20 June 2004

Ravi Sheth did an amazing job in the role of Kim in this WONDERFUL remake of an old B&W movie from 1950. I've seen the old B&W version but I MUCH prefer this one. The authenticity of the boy is central to making this movie really come alive and with Ravi this is achieved beautifully. Ravi and Peter O'Toole were so perfect in their roles and their scenes together are just magical. Bryan Brown also shone brightly in his role, very much fun to watch such great work by actors that look like they're enjoying themselves so much, I love when that happens on film. The original was a good movie, but this remake is an instant classic and these dusty characters were very much brought to life by these tremendous performances. Also the cinematography is very lovely and enchanting - some shots will just make you hold your breath, so beautifully framed are they, look for them and enjoy!

This one is HARD to find on video in the States. I first saw it while living in London in the mid 80s when it came out and I just loved it. I did manage to rent it in Phoenix once tho to show my brother, so it was out there at least at that time (mid 90s) so persevere and you may get lucky. If you can get hold of a copy of this version, definitely give it a try with young or old. The original may be hard for the young to follow, but this version is brought to life to such a higher degree that I find it much easier to follow the action. It's great for the whole family, it's riveting and beautifully acted and a classic in it's own right. You can watch it a dozen times and still get more and more out of it, that is why I recommend buying instead of renting if you are lucky enough to find a copy.

The only thing that makes it bearable that Ravi didn't continue acting is knowing that he's done so well for himself in real life and seems very happy. Still - for movie fans, the loss of his natural and charismatic acting is missed in all the films he wasn't in because he had a more important real life to get on with.

10 out of 10

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Beautiful Technicolor -

4/10
Author: kaaber-2 from Denmark
3 March 2012

- and the scenery is stunning, but otherwise, such a film as this makes me understand why Salinger wanted "Catcher in the Rye" to remain unfilmed. Ravi Sheth is passable as Kim when he can refrain from dismal attempts at being "cute" (I know: the director is probably to blame),and at times, he's downright good. Rhys-Davies and Brown are excellent in a way that honors the novel, but Peter O'Toole is an abomination. Let alone that his bald pate is the worst make-up job I have seen outside a circus, but the Lama is supposed to be wise in a childish way and O'Toole misses the mark by a light year, stumbling away in a drunken stupor and reading his lines like a BBC news reader from the 30s. I trust that by now O'Toole has been reborn as a cobra due to his criminal treatment of Kipling's Old Lama. In this case, I'll not blame the director. With a track record like his own, Peter O'Toole should be able to make something better out of even the poorest direction. To think that HE played Lawrence of Arabia! How are the mighty fallen! However, I did not mind in the least the added love story of the young British trooper and his Indian wife - in fact, it showed that the men behind the film knew their Kipling. I take it the interracial tragedy is collected from stories such as "Lispeth", "Beyond the Pale" and "Without Benefit of Clergy".

But why, oh why didn't David Lean think of filming "Kim" when he actually improved on Forster's chatty "Passage to India", a far lesser literary work?

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

An abomination

1/10
Author: bhokara
19 January 2014

This is quite possibly the worst movie ever made. If you love Kipling's book, do not watch this movie, it will ruin it for you forever. Once you see this dreadful trash, you cannot unsee it. 6'2" tall Brit Peter O'Toole plays the 4'9" Tibetan Yellow Hat lama wearing a $5 bald wig, and was reportedly so drunk during the filming that he often fell down and forgot his lines. Absolutely awful, with production values which make Plan 9 From Outer Space look good. Mahbub Ali is another horrendous disappointment. For some reason, film makers feel a compulsive need to make all Pashtun characters look like drag queens in gypsy costumes. Instead of a wily, dangerous hillman, Mahbub Ali looks like a portly flamenco dancer doing a routine on a cruise ship with a lot of gaily colored scarves attached to him. This film is so bad, it's hard to believe the filmmakers were not intentionally making a parody of an Ed Woods film.

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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Okay film, but weak

3/10
Author: cenaculum from United States
2 March 2008

Kim is an okay film, but has too many weaknesses. At least they actually filmed it in India...

The worst aspect is Peter O'Toole who looked terrible, acted terribly, whose spirituality was expressed through empty platitudes and lack of any kind of foresight. He seems more like a lost old man than a holy man. And the fake bald rubber head cap was just ugly. Sheesh.

I'd skip it and watch something else, like Ghandi. With Bollywood turning out so many films it is amazing that this film could be so bad.

For those who get bored halfway through can have fun watching the Indian extras trying and failing to avoid looking into the lens.

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3 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Actor Shows Versatility

Author: Hans C. Frederick (schweinhundt1967@postmaster.co.uk) from Parma Heights, Ohio, U.S.A.
25 August 2004



John Rhys-Davies has demonstrated his range of characters in a variety of settings and mediums.It is my understanding that he has essayed major Shakespearean roles on the stage and he has played both heroic and villainous parts in films,radio performances,and television mini-series and series.His performances are always filled with zest,insight,creativity,and fun.Even his villains are admirable,at least in the scope of their efforts.After all,we like our villains manly,now,don't we? he has such an enjoyable time portraying the Babu,that it wasn't until I watched this for the 3rd or 4th time around,that I realized the inside joke.The Babu,witty,humorous,sharp,shrewd,and insightful,is a splendid parody of Robert Morley.Bravo!

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2 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

One of the best TV movies ever

7/10
Author: Jon from United States
21 August 2005

This is enjoyable in every way. Ravi Sheth is tremendous as Kim, the street urchin-turned spy. All departures from Kipling's book are changes for the better--for instance, here, Kim is conflicted by the Irish side of his heritage and angrily resists the British forcing him into school. In Kipling's novel, Kim couldn't wait to rub his "sahib" status into the faces of his friends on the street.

Kim's transformation from homeless beggar to Secret Service agent is very well depicted, and so is his devotion to the gentle lama who is quite helpless on the mean streets of India.

The only significant flaws are in the casting of very non-Indian actors as the Lama, Mahbub Ali, and Babu. John Rhys-Davis is decent as Babu, but unfortunately, it's Peter O'Toole who is by far the worst fault of the film. His makeup is awful and his exaggerated doddering mannerisms are absurd, and anyone who's had any acquaintance with Tibetan Buddhism knows his costume is atrociously inauthentic as well. In addition, some of the scene changes are also difficult to follow. Yet overall, the movie works, and works very well.

This story is human, amusing, exciting, and heartwarming. The "friend of all the world" will delight you.

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