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Based on Thomas Hardy's classic novel Tess of the D'Urbervilles, 'Trishna' tells the story of one woman whose life is destroyed by a combination of love and circumstances. Set in contemporary Rajasthan, Trishna (Freida Pinto) meets a wealthy young British businessman Jay Singh (Riz Ahmed) who has come to India to work in his father's hotel business. After an accident destroys her father's Jeep, Trishna goes to work for Jay, and they fall in love. But despite their feelings for each other, they cannot escape the conflicting pressures of a rural society which is changing rapidly through industrialisation, urbanisation and, above all, education. Trishna's tragedy is that she is torn between the traditions of her family life and the dreams and ambitions that her education has given her. Written by
Trishna is a love story based on the Thomas Hardy novel Tess of the D'urbervilles. I haven't read it or seen the Polanski adaptation with Nastassia Kinski. Freida Pinto is the Tess character this time round, and she is breathtakingly beautiful; so casting is not the problem here. The story is so fractured, and the editing so poor, that I don't know what the filmmakers were going for.
It begins with a group of bored upper class Indians on a balcony discussing the best cities to party in. They get in a Jeep and drive recklessly around like a bunch of college frat boys. They visit an ancient temple where Jay; the leader of the pack, spots the stunning Trishna. He gets up to dance with her and later drops her off at the lower class families home.
The next day, Trishna is riding on the back of her father's truck to deliver produce when they crash into another vehicle and her dad is so badly injured that he cannot work. Jay comes to the rescue by offering Trishna a job at his father's big resort hotel. She works as a servant and he eventually has an encounter with her. The next morning she goes back home very quietly. Three months of vomiting and a visit to a doctor confirm a pregnancy which is terminated.
Jay reappears, and a few dance numbers are presented in between for no apparent reason. Trishna ends up at another of Jay's dad's hotels working once again as a servant. They also have a secret sexual relationship which grows cold and distant very quickly. At this point, I had lost interest in both Jay and Trishna. The camera loves Ms. Pinto, but she needs better material to work with.
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