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Circa 1940 in Trinidad, still a British Colony, lives Ganesh Ramseyor, of East Indian origin, along with his wife, Leela. He longs to reach out to people, especially to Hindus, in order to promote the Hindu Faith, and be known as a writer. He does get considerable success, so much so that he becomes famous as a miracle worker, having cured a man of sharing intimacy with his bicycle; prevented a man from believing that he can fly; and convincing a young woman to end her fast. His fame spreads all over the island and thousands throng to seek his blessings, which he does dole out quite benevolently, without charging any fees from the poor and the needy. He then decides to spread his wings by challenging the local politician Pandit Narayan Chandrashekhar alias Cyrus T., and takes over The Hindu Organization, thence opening his way to a seat in the prestigious Member of the Legislative Assembly. Now literally the sky is the limit for Ganesh, and he knows that he can achieve any position - ... Written by
Being from a similar culture as Trinidad, I couldn't resist picking this one up. Atypical of Merchant/Ivory films, this one is a period piece set in pre-independent Trinidad and follows the rise of Ganesh from a frustrated teacher in Port of Spain to an elected member of parliament. Overall, the film does tend to be slow in some parts, but the lively dialogue is very good.
This film follows the Indo-Caribbean culture of the West Indies very closely. I found myself identifying closely with the people and found them to be very credible characters. The juxtaposition of Colonial Trinidad and a country on the verge of independance is hinted at throughout the film. However, the political tensions were kept to a minimum. It would have been nice to have seen how Ganesh and his cronies dealt with the coming age of independence.
One of the great scenes of the film occurred when Ganesh tries to talk to the striking dock workers. The emotion is clear when he realizes his rise to power came at the cost of his charisma. Overall, a very good film.
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