Nishant, a young Indian writer living in Paris, is journeying down the Ganges, from its source in the Himalayas to the sea. Haunted by the fantasy, or the memory, of a beautiful Parisian ...
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Nishant, a young Indian writer living in Paris, is journeying down the Ganges, from its source in the Himalayas to the sea. Haunted by the fantasy, or the memory, of a beautiful Parisian woman called Jaya, he plans to write a book around his voyage. On the banks of the turquoise Ganges, one morning, he chances upon Zehra, an irresistible poetess-dancing girl in the tradition of the great courtesans, who performs in a nearby brothel. Zehra resurrects the memory of Jaya. As love casts its spell once again on Nishant, he asks Zehra to join him on his journey, but her illusory freedom is shadowed by a formidable network of the brothel's spies. Nonetheless, Nishant manages to make Zehra flee from the brothel and join him on his journey. Romance takes over. A new life begins for Zehra as Nishant would like her to accompany him back to Paris. Half way down the river, at the height of their romance, Nishant receives a telegram. Zehra soon realises how Nishant's fantasy of a half-real, ... Written by
I saw Jaya Ganga in a group of a dozen people, and at the end there was silence for 5 minutes till the first person spoke. It took us 15 minutes of quiet chat for any-one to feel strong enough to leave! We start with the hero, Nishant at the source of the Ganges. He intends to travel its length, an allegory of a spiritual journey. The photography was stunning - except for the absence of smells, it was like being in India for an evening. Halfway through the film, I thought this was a conventional romance heading for a happy ending. But darker themes, both human and spiritual, emerged. With superb acting by the two main characters, I can't imagine a better film - although I haven't read the book. And it's a mystery to me how under-appreciated and hard to find this film is. I give it an enthusiastic 10/10!
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