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Adequate period drama limited by very small budget
This films is adapted from the John Master's novel of the same name that tells the story of a principled British Army Officer who decides on his own initiative to infiltrate a notorious 19th Century cult that robbed and killed travellers in India, when under British colonial rule.
The result of the project is nothing more than a barely adequate film. It is known that film had some problems to surmount including a rather limiting $5-$6 million dollar budget - you can see the difference is scope when compared too much bigger productions such as Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and Gandhi. The film is reasonably theatrical. Also the production was plagued with protests and sabotage when filming so at one level the film is a reasonable achievement considering the circumstances.
However despite this there are some more genuine problems. Director Nicholas Meyer has a rather conservative approach to the direction, and some scenes come dangerously close to flat, though the film avoids looking too TV like, which has been a fault of some of his previous theatrical outings. While the film-maker seems more interested in shooting nice scenery and locations which to be fair do look good the film lacks any real suspense there is only some in the opening scene whereas this atmosphere should have pervaded throughout the whole film.
Performances are OK if broad but nothing more than that. Some key characters are significantly underdeveloped. Technical credits are also adequate.
In all adequate film if just barely.
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