The Warrior (2001) Poster

(2001)

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breathtakingly beautiful
balloon-38 October 2004
I just finished watching this film and I wanted to find out what the D.O.P. had done before...then I read some of the comments... I cannot believe people call this film long or boring...what were you watching? This films simplicity is one of the reasons that it is so beautiful and powerful. I found this film completely engaging. The fact that the warrior was more of a 'goon' and not 'an honourable warrior' - whatever that is...is the point, surely. There was no honour in what he was doing...he realized that he was merely a hired killer, and for the sake of his son, he had to break the cycle, and to call this film, with all the love and care and hard work that has obviously gone into it, "dishonest" is just............. The locations and photography were breathtaking, the music, the acting ... it was all wonderful.

Watch this to see how films could be...

I cannot recommend it enough.
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10/10
Simple, Poetic, Beautiful
tonstant viewer25 October 2003
A very worthwhile film, assuming you don't need rivers of blood, yucky closeups of severed body parts or explosions every twelve minutes to hold your interest.

Most stories about the killer who renounces violence feature a lip-smacking, almost pornographic delight in the violence itself. This film successfully avoids that trap.

The story has echoes of samurai tales to it, though the settings are the deserts of Rajastan and the mountains of the Himalayas - lowlands bad, mountains good, as always.

The lead actor is both expressive and restrained, the support is sufficient, and the whole experience moving. I hope a DVD version gets issued in the US before too long.
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8/10
A gem of a film well worth seeking out.
johnmcm24 April 2002
With his debut feature 'The Warrior', Asif Kapadia has immediately identified himself as a director worth watching.

The story follows the journey of the warrior (Irfran Khan) as he attempts to renounce his violent past and find a new life of peace in the mountains of Northern India.

Sickened by the brutality of his role as leader of a band of warriors, he puts down his sword, vowing never to kill again. However he does not account for the wrath of the Warlord who sends his men to hunt him down, with terrible consequences.

A timeless, almost Zen-like film has strong echoes of the work of Sergio Leone, opting for minimal dialogue and careful pacing, and making full use of the spectacular vistas of Northern India's desert and mountain regions.

I suspect you will have to search hard to find this film at your local multiplex, but it is well worth the effort. If you're feeling a tad jaded after too many blockbusters, here's a film to reaffirm your faith in cinema.
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Requires patience but is an interesting relocation of a western to a different world
bob the moo18 January 2006
Lafcadia is a warrior working for the local lord as an enforcer – destroying villages that don't pay their share to him and killing whomever he wants killed. It has become too much for him and the slaughter of an old man gives him pauses before he decides on the futility of the whole thing during an attack on a village of women and children. He returns home and prepares to travel to his home village in the Himalayas but his former lieutenant Biswas has been charged with bringing back his head for the lord. Unable to find Lafcadia, Biswas kills his son. Devastated Lafcadia continues his journey, with Biswas not yet finished his quest.

Although rejected by the Academy when put up for the "best foreign language film" category on the grounds that Hindi was not a language of the UK and therefore the UK could not put forward this film (huh?), this film could have easily been rejected on the grounds that The Warrior takes so much of itself from American westerns that it couldn't be considered foreign. I'm being stupid of course, but in essence what we have here is a silent story of a man wandering across the wilderness, meeting people on his way to what will be in some way a confrontation, or showdown if you will. It doesn't really compare to the stronger westerns that have tackled this same theme but it is still interesting. Silently moving forward against impressive backgrounds, there does appear to be the allusion to epic stature in the cinematography and also the pain of the characters. The depth is not really there to support this but it does do well enough to carry the story to the end.

Part of the reason for this is a solid and haunted performance from Khan in the lead. He has little dialogue for large sections of the film but he convinces and engages from start to finish. The support is mostly good (apart from the Lord being played as some sort of Bond villain) but it is Khan's film and he does well. Kapadia's direction is excellent and his use of music and slow camera movements add to the intimacy and patience inherent in the story being told. The cinematography makes good use of the locations but never becomes the whole show.

Overall this is an interesting film that plays well by taking the form of a western and placing it within the Indian feudal system. It is not action packed and requires a certain amount of patience to get into it but, without a lot of dialogue, the cast do well to produce characters that were interesting and that I cared about – particularly Khan in the lead. A worthy winner of "best British film" at the Baftas and worth seeing.
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'The Warrior' Takes No Prisoners
janos4516 July 2005
"Thumbs Up/Down" makes little sense in general, but when it comes to Asif Kapadia's "The Warrior," it's virtually repugnant to say just yes or no to such work of rare and consuming integrity.

This brilliant new British director made his debut at 29, when the 2005 Miramax US release of "The Warrior" appeared in its initial form in 2001. It is shot entirely - and spectacularly, with the painterly prowess of a Zhang Yimou - in India of long ago. It is a work onto itself, without regard to convention or audience comfort.

Kapadia does not bother to introduce his subject or to invite viewers into the world he depicts, he thrusts them into it with the first frame, and he doesn't stop... until about an hour into the film, there is a brief episode not involving gripping, threatening, breathtaking conflict.

As does the director, the great new star in the title role, Irfan Khan, is also making his debut, but he has a face, a presence that you feel you have always known. He plays the top warrior, the enforcer and executioner for a inhumanly cruel warlord, a man slaughtering men, women and children of the villages that don't pay their taxes in full. When he suddenly stops killing and seeks a different life, the hunter becomes the hunted.

From this point on, when Hollywood would follow one of two or three possible scenarios, Kapadia continues to enthrall the viewer, the story unfolding in its own unique, riveting way, never becoming slack, lazy, predictable. Intensity continues unabated, suffused with meaning and complexity.

From India's Rajasthani Desert to the Himalayan region of Himachal Pradesh, there are spectacular backdrops, but Roman Osin's camera is consistently on the faces - ancient, stoic faces (most of the cast never acted before), showing the barest signs of emotion - magnified in context and in the close-ups.

At the most horrendous moment of "The Warrior," the face on which we'd expect the reaction is suddenly hidden by the camera shifting up so that we see only a riot of colorful turbans. We both want to see that disappearing face, and are grateful that we don't have to witness it.

"The Warrior" takes control, arousing and maintaining intense feelings that you'll rarely experience in a theater. Which way the thumbs that wave high for the usual infantile drivel? Let's just break 'em.
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8/10
Atonement
jotix10022 July 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Director Asif Kapidian's "The Warrior" just arrived to this city in its commercial run. This is a film that will surprise many viewers, nor only for its splendid beauty, but for the way the director has created the right atmosphere in which to tell his story. The amazing cinematography by Roman Osin, is well worth the price of admission. The musical score by Dario Marianelli enhances the action tremendously.

We are taken to a place in Northern India, in the Rajastan, where a feudal lord is seen at the beginning of the movie receiving payment from his tenants. As one poor peasant can't pay, the ruthless man instructs his head henchman to kill the man by beheading him. The warrior, after he gets home, has a change of heart, as he realizes the enormity of his crime.

The warrior and his teen aged son, embark in a trip to the mountains to get away from the feudal lord, but fate intervenes in that his former partners in crime finds the young man. These men take him to face the cruel lord, who orders him to be killed. The warrior, in the crowd witnesses his own son's death.

What follows is a trip to the mountains, alone, where the former warrior meets a young boy along the way who wants to stay with him. They form a bond, until the following avengers catch up with their old partner and there's a showdown. At the end, the former outlaw finds some sense of serenity by staying with his son's friend and her family, where he is welcome.

"The Warrior" is a film of rare beauty where great vistas of India, going from the arid locales of the beginning of the movie change drastically as the warrior goes to the Indian Himalayas, in sharp contrast with what the film has shown before. Irfan Khan plays the title role well under the direction of Mr. Kapadian.

This is a film that clamors to be discovered, as it will not disappoint because of the remarkable work Asif Kapadian has achieved with this movie.
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great Cinematography
bigdave9191 December 2004
the warrior is amazingly well filmed in great locations. the plot is not one of the most amazing to ever to be put to screen, and the ending did leave a lot to be desired. But this film had it's moments and Irfan Khan put in a great performance. but this is a film to be taken as a spectacle of cinematography and on that level i doubt any one can find reason to criticise this visually stunning film. i recommend this film if you have the time and enjoy the spectacle of an amazingly filmed movie but it doesn't have the best story line and the ending leaves a lot more questions then answers.
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9/10
A must-see adventure drama!
patricialamkin-130 August 2005
A troubled warrior named Lafcadia (Irfan Khan) tires of being sent by his arrogant lord to murder innocent people in the villages of feudal India. During a typical raid to a village in Rajasthan over unpaid taxes, the conscientious warrior has a mystical experience, and renounces his violent life. Defying his feudal obligations, Lafcadia begins a long journey to the mountains in search of himself, joined by a teenage thief and an old magic woman. Lafcadia soon realizes that the same corrupt men who used to fight alongside him have pursued him, and are bent on killing him.

Though this classic tale of a violent man trying to escape his past has been told in many film genres and countries, (Léon, Unforgiven, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon), the Warrior is a stand out with its breathtaking scenery, beautiful costumes and moving performances.
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4/10
A Great Opportunity Missed Through the Director's Over-Estimation of his Abilities
cribyn4428 December 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Since previous comments have adequately summarised the main story line of this film, there is no need for me to repeat them. However.....

I first saw this film on television a short while ago, and again over the Christmas period, on DVD. Seeing the film by itself, one can possibly enjoy the final cut for what it is, although I have to admit that my second viewing did tend to highlight the sparseness of the story-line and film. It is when one comes to see the film on DVD that the trouble begins. I would STRONGLY advise all viewers who have otherwise seen and quite enjoyed the film NOT to view the "extra" feature on the DVD entitled "Alternate and Deleted Scenes". Otherwise, you will be reminded of the Marcus Antonious speech in "Julius Ceasar".... "if you have tears, prepare to shed them now.......".

For nearly one hour the viewer is presented with alternate or deleted scene after scene that did not make the final cut but whose cumulative effect is to underline how otherwise totally brilliant, impressive, and moving the final cut of the film could have been had they been included - and had made the film probably around 120-plus minutes of viewing time instead of its measly present 87 minutes.

Time and again the exclusions really did make one wonder about the so-called film-making thinking and skills of the director and his film editor, given that all those exclusions would have superbly rounded-out not only the story line but also the "feelings" of involvement of the viewer. In addition, viewers should be warned that for virtually the whole of that hour of alternate and deleted scenes section, the director's voice intones non-stop about how superbly he thought his film-making skills were in lining up particular shots or how far better he thought it was to drop completely many shots. In addition, I found the director's uneducated use of the English language to be screamingly annoying....."He sort of got up and went into the desert...."; " He kind of did this as the camera follows him...."; and "like" this thing then happened....etc. I am of course paraphrasing, but that gives a taste of the horrendous misuse of the English language that one has to put up with in that section.

In other words, what this film absolutely requires is a patron saint who will purchase all its rights from the present director, and start again with all the alternate and deleted scenes inserted in order to make it the masterpiece it really deserves to be.
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1/10
Pretentious drama, appeal to the exotic, and art may give it some western fans.
jatt_all_alone_in3 January 2007
Director's quote about his crew going through catastrophes to film this movie should be an indicator enough. The way director has manipulated most of the scenes, it looks like he has visions of himself becoming another Kurusowa, Sergio Leone. This is a very pretentious movie, tailor made for the wannabe cool and artistic viewers. SO no surprise that it is getting rave reviews from British art-houses. As someone who has grown up with the Hindi language, the dialog is extremely corny, and accents fake. And of course historically and geographically, this movie cannot be placed anywhere. I can understand why it would appeal visually to a western viewer, and of course some may see it as a justification of their artistic taste. But honestly, some of the extremely bad, cheesy Bollywood movies have more honest characterization, and no pretentious claims to artistic merit. My first comment ever since becoming a member of IMDb, so my disappointment can be imagined. I expected it to be a simple, honest tale. Yet... all attempts at being artistic, honest come out as fake. Don't be bowled over by the exoticness of the movie, think about the director, his work in this movie, and his pretensions throughout the movie.
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7/10
Beautiful to look at
Leofwine_draca31 August 2011
A slow moving and beautifully shot meditation on life and death, all set within a barren and inhospitable landscape. THE WARRIOR marked Asif Kapadia's breakout from short films into feature length cinema, and it's a stunning debut. A familiar storyline unfolds in a leisurely and unhurried way, promoting realism at all times. Don't go in thinking this is an action film due to the misleading title, because you'll be disappointed: there isn't a single sword fight to be found.

Irrfan Khan is a delight as the titular character, but the real star here is Kapadia himself. His cinematography aches with beauty, and he has a way of shooting isolated landscapes in a way that few other directors can match (for more of this check out FAR NORTH). Not since Werner Herzog's Nosferatu the Vampyre have I seen such a film shot through with this kind of artistic composition. There are shades of the Lone Wolf & Cub films here, but this meditative film turns out to be something else entirely; I really liked it.
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8/10
The journey begins
flingebunt12 December 2005
When a man of the sword relinquishes violence, he finds it has terrible price. He journeys to his home village where he will find the violence he running from has preceded him.

Written and directed by an English person of Indian descent, with the original inspiration coming from a Japanese folk story, this movie is part of the new Internationalism in cinema. This is in no way, an Indian film, rather it British.

The words have been used by other people and I am going to use them too, then go and spank myself for being so unoriginal.

Simple. Beautiful. Poetic.

Ouch.

It is a great example of found cinema, where many actors are simple found at the locations, with some sets being made, and many people, and sets being real. Including one major character being played by an Indian street kid.

I like this sort of movie, and if you do you will probably love this movie too.
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1/10
Dishonest!
thespeakingtree28 March 2003
Me and my friends failed to undertand why the fests & brits go ga ga over this pseudo-arty piece of work. It is one of the worst film to come out of Indian Diaspora. A straight lift off from a Japanese tale the film lacks in its originality. All ingredients are spiced up to please the arty crowd at the festival. Sorry to say this but it is one of the most dishonest film from highly overrated director.
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5/10
Yet Another No Name Mercenary Seeks Redemption
noralee21 July 2005
"The Warrior" feels like a Northern Indian take on the Man With No Name mercenary renouncing violence genre that was influenced by John Ford movies, let alone "High Noon," taken up as samurai by Kurasawa, re-invented by the Italians as spaghetti Westerns, and, I thought, brought back to rest with "The Unforgiven."

The first third of the film looks so much like the old-fashioned Hollywood take on Asian despots that I half expected the war lord to be played by Lee Van Cleef and for young Kirk Douglas or Tony Curtis to ride up.

Though we are given no information about the locale or time period or if it's based on a legend or whatever, this take on the genre has breathtaking local scenery and native actors partaking in the usual greedy violence, though the blood is almost too discreetly off-screen to be haunting, plus heavy-handed spiritual magic realism, complete with a fortune-telling blind crone.

Irfan Khan as the henchman suddenly struck with a conscience, however, is mesmerizing and gives the film whatever gravitas it has, as it becomes his picaresque tale of searching for redemption. He also has wonderful chemistry with the excellent child and teen actors who come and go in the story. His performance raises it above the similar looking but pedestrian recent Chinese warlord film "Warriors of Heaven and Earth (Tian di ying xiong)." It is both intriguing and off-putting for the pacing that the mano a mano duel doesn't really feel climactic, compared to the warrior's true quest for inner peace.

The bombastic music is disconcertingly Western, even though we occasionally hear local singing and instruments playing on screen.

It is very commendable that the English subtitles are legible throughout, even through many desert scenes.

But I simply do not understand why it got the BAFTA awards.
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1/10
If such a film can win awards, truly film-making is lost
Mohinish21 April 2006
At least Bollywood has this: it is pure, joyous trash. It's something you grow up with, and cannot possibly enjoy unless you've had an early Parameter Setting (a la Chomsky) for Bollywood films. Bollywood is SO trash, it comes out on the other side into previously uncharted highlands of Mt. Trash.. it's almost GOOD!

This film, unfortunately, is a pretentious piece of nonsense, which you'd be pardoned for believing was made by a film student with good contacts on a bad day. Probably the only thing good about the film are the actors, specially Irfan Khan. For the rest, it's a bad trip after watching a bunch of Kurosawa's and some Sergio Leone's, and probably some sappy romanticizing about the director's Indian Roots or some such pulpy bile.

OK, I guess I'm just mad about having my hopes shattered, and am venting it out here. So just to summarize: 1) The accents are all over the place 2) The story? It's the kind of mindless tale you would tell a child to put it to sleep 3) Camera-work is so-so 4) Editing is plain flaky

All in all, its right down there at the bottom of the barrel with loads of other junk.. only, you're much less likely to actually SEE any of the other junk unless (a) you were mad or (b) the film was winning awards by juries that seemed to like pretentious "art" films.
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6/10
I just don't see it
lastliberal1 April 2007
This British film about a warrior that chucks it all for a life of peace was nominated and won many awards. IExcept for some outstanding cinematography, I don't see it.

At first, I thought it might be an "Unforgiven" as the warrior that gives it up comes back for a final job. But the truth is that the warrior (Irfan Khan) never really gave it up at all. At the first opportunity, he takes retribution on the warrior that is chasing him. This was not some noble act, but clear revenge. And that ending! What was that all about? "She said you would come." So what? Maybe you just had to speak Hindi to understand, but that would't help much as Khan doesn't say 100 words through the entire film.
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6/10
Boring
Simon Booth9 February 2003
Nice locations, but really really boring. Also, I wouldn't describe the protagonist as a warrior at all - more of a hired goon. If you want a meditative movie about swordsmen in the desert, seek out Wong Kar Wai's ASHES OF TIME. The Warrior is not worth your time, even as a Sunday afternoon sleeper. The British DVD is nicely presented and contains nearly an hour of deleted scenes, with director's commentary. These are all very boring too.
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5/10
The film lacks Indianness
hemal_triv8 December 2006
Warning: Spoilers
The other day I had an opportunity to watch a film of my favorite actor - Irfan Khan. What more can I say about the film - the film is technically perfect! Perfect cinematography, perfect locations, perfect acting, perfect special effects, perfect - loud and theatrical music...The film has a perfect recipe for an artsy, offbeat, film festival favorite, Indian film - some native music, vibrant colors, some poverty, some affective realism and some mysticism.

But the film lacked Indianness - the very Indianness it was perhaps trying to capture. The film lacked soul. The music was too loud, the colors too vibrant and the people too poor. The film was larger than India - it was magnified. It lacked India's simplicity. It lacked naturalness. It lacked the dialogues, the wit, the matter of factedness. The filmmaker was perhaps too obsessed with capturing an impressionistic India that he failed to capture the real India. Compare this film to "Mirch Masala" or "Manthan" and the film falls straight on its face.

I give this film 5 out of 10. And I am generous only because the film has my favorite actor Irfan Khan and he is too good. But I guess the filmmaker needs to spend more time in India to be able to tell India stories.
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Breathtaking
wozwazere23 August 2011
I watched this last night and it is so entrenched in my mind that I'm going to watch it again today.

Quite simply stunning from start to finish with well-rounded characters in their silence and simplicity.

The younger members of the cast more than keep up with those older and everyone is so utterly believable that it is more like having a glimpse into a life that once was ~ and may be yet in a far-off land ~ rather than a film.

A film that says so much without really verbalising much at all. Have oxygen at hand because it really will take your breath away!
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1/10
One word: Misled
Niels van Lohuizen5 July 2009
If you read the back of the DVD, near the bottom it reads " The Warrior features exciting samurai-style action sequences and breathtaking cinematography!" There are no samurai-style action sequences.

As far as cinematography, it is at best a diluted mixture of Dances with Wolves meets National Geographic channel.

The thought was there, and OK - this is a spiritual journey of a man who is haunted by a dark past. But from the studio that procured 'Hero' I had my hopes much higher.

Not one samurai move.

Whom ever wrote the descriptor clearly did not watch the movie.

The issues I have with this film are abound.

Winner in the London Film Festival Winner - Best British Film

Decide for yourself
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Masked up for BAFTA's
Avinash Patalay6 July 2008
With a string of movies geared up a sole intent of garnering Oscar statuettes, Asif Kapadia aims for BAFTA's with his outing. "The Warrior" is doused with all possible ingredients that would qualify for a perfect recipe to get nominations, if not win one.

Let me give you an example:: If you happen to watch a Chinese movie and there happens to be a scene/ situation which is unfamiliar to us being Non-Chinese, "queer" is the immediate thought that would come to our minds. Exactly the same emotion any Non-Indian would get while watching "The Warrior" – uncivilised and probably barbaric. While the truth lies between the history, cinematic liberties and Mr. Kapadia's head.

Are the coordinates of the place unattainable on GPRS? Probably not, for its a period movie and hey, the period is not stipulated. Having said that strong flavour of Rajasthan can be felt, including the folk songs. And who waved the magic wand to make the snow-clad mountains appear from thin air? Or should I read that as an early sign of global warming? And why do the main characters speak national language? Anyways, the screenplay is good though slow at times. Music is passable.

Cast::

Irfan Khan:: Needs no mention. He is the Generation Next to Naseer and Om Puri.

Noor Mani :: As a thief, very much believable.

Damayanti Marfatia:: as the old lady – who seems to have jumped straight out of a storybook.

The rest are passable.

Bottomline:: The objective was fulfilled... hook or by crook.
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10/10
Battle of the Asian Welles & Kubrick of UK Cinema
kapadiaahmadfan9 February 2008
Kapadia (Welles) vs Ahmad (Kubrick) - Battle of the Asian Welles & Kubrick of UK Cinema Both magnificent film directors Kapadia older in age has 3 feature films beneath his belt. The Warrior, The Return and recently Far North.

As their careers grew, the two directors could hardly be more different in film-making style, yet encompass dissimilar personalities. Both of these young prodigies turned to film-making in their early 20s. Kapadia studied graphic design before his interest in film-making led him to Newport Film School, the University of Westminster and then the Royal College of Art, where his graduate short The Sheep Thief won awards around the world, including at Cannes. He began at the very top of the pyramid with his first feature, The Warrior, won two Baftas with its huge technical crews and was offered great support.

Whereas Ahmad the otherwise little-known self taught film-maker, who was brought up on a poor and often violent estate in Manchester directed his first short film on a tiny budget of 2,500 pounds Waiting For Sunrise (won Unicef award 2005, nominated for a Grierson 2006).

Ahmad's power draws from his understanding that if the film-maker is not in charge of every module of his creation -- from the original screenplay down to the promotional campaign years work may go for nothing. While Kapdia as a feature filmmaker has gone strength to strength being hailed as one of the best young film directors in the UK.

Ahmad become visible on the film scene 7 years after Kapadia, and in that decade beginning in the late 1990's considerable transformations took place, which he, unlike Kapadia, was able to turn to his advantage. The changes in technology and Internet marked the shift of the hierarchical, all-powerful influences by major UK studios.

The increasing popularity of the Internet, coupled with the movement of younger talents bursting with new ideas. Unlike Kapadia, Ahmed took advantage creating a huge independent worldwide database of media professionals and the public to gain entry to his work. He now has a huge worldwide fan base. After 10 years of struggling to even create an indentation within the business Ahmad made 3 diverse short films A Man's World, Waiting For Sunrise & Boot Polish and is an independent who learned the whole thing on the spot, originally with whatever means that were available.

While Kapadia the more professional of the two, premiered his new film Far North at the Venice Film Festival. It stars Michelle Yeoh, Sean Bean and Michelle Krusiec and was shot on the archipelago of Svalbard, one of the most northern settlements in the world, two hours south of the North Pole. Ahmed the more outspoken and naturally gifted of the two yet still has to prove himself on feature film level, while Kapadia is now an experienced veteran with international acclaim.

Quotes Kapadia "I love being on the set, shooting. It's very nerve-wracking and very tense and very tiring, but for me it's the best part.

There's one other moment that I think is really special: when you're finishing a film off and you put the first bit of music to it. It's a really beautiful moment because you know what the film is"

Ahmad "The great thing about being a filmmaker is in that it's visual as compared to say a novelist who tries to get the readers imagination to comprehend the story, whereas the visual in the cinema is more easier to digest and as a director you can use that power to do amazing things."
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5/10
Made for the west
wanderingbrains8 November 2007
I read a lot of positive reviews about this movie. The movie was definitely good, but only for people without a knowledge of the country/customs/language. The dialog delivery is bad, the dialect very modern Hindi with no touch of Rajasthan, the places misplaced, the customs missing, at times women are shown wearing way more modern dresses than men thus being out of place. The director has taken a western story and placed it in the east with some very good eastern appeal but forgot to change the story accordingly.

The story moves around without any respect to geographical distances. The snow covered mountains are at least months away from the deserts when traveled on a bullock cart. It's impossible that the kind of landowner shown in the movie would have control over such vast territory with so few goons/warriors. The old lady has been unnecessarily added. I can only think that people liked this movie only because they hardly have any knowledge of that part of the country and were fascinated by a movie from the east addressing a concept the west has made hundreds of movies about.
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9/10
Spellbinding
RENEE SCHIBER25 February 2007
Warning: Spoilers
The very word "warrior" has us anticipating a non-stop action movie, but from the opening credits with the beautifully balanced composition of the gnarled tree, sand, sky and the warrior practicing his sword work in a manner that looks like dance--the music reinforcing the peaceful flowing sensation--we know right away that this movie is not about blood and guts.

I believe that is why some people call this movie "boring." It all has to do with expectations. People who are looking for a warrior in the style of Mortal Kombat or Ong Bak will be sorely disappointed. I didn't know what to think when I saw it the first time, but I was so intrigued I watched it again.

One of the most intriguing aspects of the film is its timelessness. This movie transcends a historical time period; it transcends culture. The story may be a samurai folk tale reworked to fit India of centuries past, but the story is universal. Some reviewers complain that the plot is too simplistic. But what is new under the sun? Certainly not a storyline. It is the presentation of the same old material that creates the interest, the beauty.

The gorgeous photography is compelling. The story of human connection and personal salvation is captivating. I teach the Hero's Journey in my high school movie class and that journey is always about Transformation which is at the heart of this film. Usually, the mentor, the guide, into the world of transformation is older and wiser. In this case, the warrior's guide is his young son, Katibah.

Beautiful film.

When my high school students saw it, I asked them how they like it. Many were bored, but a few were mesmerized.
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8/10
Simple, touching and beautifully shot
Toshiro Mifune18 March 2002
This was a really wonderful film. I saw it as the closing film of the Kent Film Festival and it was a suitably impressive finale.

It is an admittedly simple narrative about an experienced warrior-for-hire seeking redemption for his murderous ways but its simplicity is what makes it a universal parable that I felt struck that proverbial universal chord.

The veer away from the need for revenge towards a search for redemption was an interesting take on a fairly familiar feeling plot and the way the typical 'warrior film' themes were presented reminded me of Sergio Leone or John Ford westerns or the samuri films of Akira Kurosawa, such as 'Seven Samurai' or 'Sanjuro'.

Whether these films are your thing or not this is a film not to be missed because not only does it show that there is fresh, new directors coming through, but also because of the way the Himalaya's and the Indian deserts are shot (on a £2.5 million budget). It is truly stunning and was on a par with anything the afore mentioned John Ford or the great David Lean filmed.

This was a simple, touching and beautifully shot 86 minutes of film and I recommend it to anyone with a heart.
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