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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

A great adaptation...

Author: Boomwala from Toronto, Canada
28 September 1998

First I must admit to being biased... I worked on this film as the boom operator. But, that also makes me a tough critic. The film is outstanding. Having been part of the process of making this film I can say truthfully that it captured some of the transcendent qualities of India, the Parsis, and of Bombay (now Mumbai). It looks great. I think it sounds decent, but what is most remarkable about this film is the warm characters (written by Rohinton Mistry, adapted to the screen by Sooni Tapooravela [probably spelled that wrong], and brilliantly acted by the likes of Roshan Seth, Soni Razdan, Om Puri, and Kerush Deboo).

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

realistic, sensitive film

Author: sswenson
31 August 2000

A bank clerk in Bombay faces conflict within his family and on his job. Slice-of-life drama during the 1971 war with Pakistan. Elegant, extraordinary performances detail the lives of ordinary people. (Rating: A)

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Uplifting Slice of Mumbai

Author: Rex Michael Dillon (misterdillon@yahoo.com) from San Jose, CA
27 June 2000

This film was well scripted, well acted, and beautiful. It captures so much of what life is like for millions around the world not just in Bombay. We all have to deal with the human condidtion. We all have a parent-child relationship. We all have concerns about the quality of life in our immediate community, and are all ultimately affected by events on the international stage. I especially liked the philosphy of the street artist.

We have seen some of these actors before in bit parts in more mainstream films, but they all did such a fine job that I hope they continue to find parts in films worthy of their talents.

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Fascinating and excellent film

10/10
Author: Enid-3 from Canada
15 March 1999

It's really unfortunate that most people outside of Canada think that the only things that Canada produces are snow, mounties and hockey players. This film is the second superlative Canadian film I have seen within the past few weeks (the first was "The Red Violin"), far better than all but the best Hollywood efforts.

Gustad Noble is anything but that; he is a middle-aged Parsi bank employee in Bombay in the 1970s. This film sensitively explores various things that happen to him concerning his family, his friends and his work, and their effect on him. At the same time, it is a fascinating, and, I would assume, accurate, portrayal of middle-class, urban life in India at the time.

However, I was somewhat prepared for this, having read Rohinton Mistry's book a few years ago. The film, as might be expected, cannot capture all the complexities of the book, but, if you want to read a really good book, and see a really good film, read and see "Such a Long Journey".

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

well done

8/10
Author: ashvin from champaign, IL
28 April 2001

A great film. The acting - from the doctor to the pavement artist to the head prostitute, with very few exceptions, was wonderful; i thought soni razdan(mrs.noble) and vrajesh hirjee(saurabh) were the best of the lesser known actors. Even Kurush Deboo (Tehmul), who might be accused of overacting, presented quite a believable and familiar character.

Another great thing was the camera work - and the way it captured the energy of bombay streets, the tranquility of gustad saying his prayers and life within the tiny apartments.

I liked the story of the wall that becomes a shrine and then gets broken down - and the artists philosophical take on it.

It's great to see good movies on indian themes.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

A thought-provoking film, reinforcing the strength of family ties

7/10
Author: Ruby Liang (ruby_fff) from sf, usa
30 May 2000

It is wonderful to watch Roshan Seth (the strict father in 1992 "Mississippi Masala"), who once again takes on the role of a father and head of the family, and more, in SUCH A LONG JOURNEY, set in 1971 Bombay, India. Besides the closely knit family settings, subject matters include the lost and found of a friendship; the unexpected death of a friend (somehow the calm smiling face of a friend in death in the presence of prayers felt peaceful - so Gustad Noble, Roshan's character, similarly noted); a sidewalk artist's chain of events - "the wall as a latrine turned into a shrine…shrine into rumbles and ashes" was at once prophetic and philosophical. It's packed full of life lessons in different aspects of varying relationships: between father and son; mother and son; father and little daughter; little daughter and father and mother; longtime colleagues; long lost dear friends; even that of a man to man, one whose an innocent slow-witted "fool".

In spite of the tone of the film's era, it's a colorful film rich in substance, and the strength of the story in textural layers with humor and suspense. For a director who is not Indian (Sturla Gunnarsson being Icelandic), he's made a political Indian/Pakistani film. He gets into the bone marrow of the life of this Parsi portrayed by Roshan Seth, whose performance has such nuances, subtlety, and joy. (There is singing, too.) The rest of the cast is equally strong: from Om Puri the mysterious friend of a friend; Soni Razdan the enduring wife; Vrajesh Hirjee the argumentative eldest son; Sam Dastor the longtime office mate; Ranjit Chowdhry the pavement artist; to a superstitious "witch" woman of a neighbor; an unbeguiling "fool" of a man; and a long lost bosom friend - it's a world of many faces and perspectives. Director Gunnarsson has demonstrated sensitivity in the treatment of that time period and subject was well researched with attention to details. He has the good fortune to have Sooni Taraporevala (1992 "Mississippi Masala", 1988 "Salaam Bombay!") wrote the script. This is truly a worthwhile journey of a film to partake.

Along the lines of cultural exploration (road movie style), Fridrik Thor Fridriksson 1994 "Cold Fever" is an Icelandic sojourn about a Japanese young man who went across the globe in search of the specific spot to pay his last respects to his parents, dutifully following memorial rituals for the dead. Such demonstrated reverence and cross-cultural attention to family ties are heart-warming in this day and cyber age.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Uplifting Slice of Mumbai

Author: Rex Michael Dillon (misterdillon@yahoo.com) from San Jose, CA
27 June 2000

This film was well scripted, well acted, and beautiful. It captures so much of what life is like for millions around the world not just in Bombay. We all have to deal with the human condition. We all have a parent-child relationship. We all have concerns about the quality of life in our immediate community, and are all ultimately affected by events on the international stage. I especially liked the philosophy of the street artist.

We have seen some of these actors before in bit parts in more mainstream films, but they all did such a fine job that I hope they continue to find parts in films worthy of their talents.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

A rich, wonderful novel of a movie

10/10
Author: tom d
31 May 2000

I saw this film at the Taos Film Festival last year, and was just overwhelmed by it. It's a rich, warm novel brought to the screen, beautifully acted, and well directed. More than anything, it reminded me of the films of David Lean, both in its ability to handle a complex story, and its knack for creating powerful scenes that affect you on several different levels. The best movie I've seen in years.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Impressive and touching

8/10
Author: Samiam3 from Canada
4 May 2009

For those of you who have read Rohinton Mistry's highly respected novel, this film will definitely impress you, because of how honorable an adaptation it is . With the exception of one minor subplot, Sturla Gunnarson's feature film debut is an almost dead-on recreation of the book (down to the last line).

For those of you who have not read the novel, this movie might be a little tricky. It is certainly not a large cinematic drama story. Instead it has a strong element of realism to it, but I would not have it any other way. The best way to describe Such a Long Journey to movie fans would be to say that it is a small scale, Hindu version of 'Fiddler On The Roof'. Instead of a Jewish/Russian milkman, the protagonist Gustad Noble is a banker in 1970's Bombay during the time of the Muslim/Hindi war with Pakistan. He is forced to deal with a number of unexpected problems in his life, including his sick daughter, his individualist eldest son, a distant friend who gets him involved with some dirty money, and an unhealthy neighborhood. The Ending is not a happy one, nor is it a sad one, but that is essentially what realism involves.

Such a Long Journey is a fine little movie, but if you want to see it, then good luck finding it. Unlike the novel, it has received very little release.

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A Journey of Conviction.

10/10
Author: Python Hyena from Canada
5 November 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Such a Long Journey (1998): Dir: Sturla Gunnarsson / Cast: Roshan Seth, Om Puri, Soni Razdan, Naseeruddin Shah, Kurush Deboo: Sturla Gunnarsson's film is a very long journey through the painstaking trial of one man. Opening in Bombay 1971 Roshan Seth stars as a husband and father of three children. He is angered when his oldest son refuses to follow in his college footsteps. Three years prior he was involved in a car accident causing injury to his hip, and when the person who assisted him is struck by a car he is overwhelmed with guilt and his inability. The wall that surrounds their apartment is subject to urination by locals so Seth employs an artist to brighten it up. Central plot regards Secret Service money that he obtains and must get rid of. Working at the Central Bank of India he soon deposits it with the assistance of a friend. To add to further issues he learns that his daughter is very ill, and time is greatly running out rapidly. Powerful film with unlimited potential in terms of ideas and themes. It is aided by strong performances by Seth, Om Puri and Soni Razdan who bring great insight and emotion into these characters propelled by the atmosphere for which they live. It is directed by Gunnarsson who goes above the film's budget to place more emphasis on locations and culture. It is a film about hardship and a long journey regarding one's flaws and sins. Score: 10 / 10

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