A German architect runs away with the maharajah of Eschnapur's fiancee but is caught and thrown in the dungeon, while his relatives arrive from Europe looking for him and the maharajah's brother is scheming to usurp the throne.
A young orphan is sent to the village of Moonfleet, in Dorset, England to stay with his mother's former lover, who has the facade of a gentleman but is a leader of a gang of swashbuckling bootleggers. The duo went on a treasure hunt.
An architect travels to the remote city of Eschnapur to oversee some work being done at the bequest of the local Maharajah. Along the way the architect meets and falls in love with a beautiful temple-dancer. The Maharajah also loves this dancer and plans to marry her despite fierce opposition from factions within his own court. The dancer responds to the architect's advances and they flee from Eschnapur but are captured by the Maharajah's soldiers. To save the architect's life, the dancer agrees to marry the Maharajah. This sparks a revolt which is eventually put down. The sadder but wiser Maharajah then allows the architect and the dancer to leave his domain.Written by
Fritz Lang's two part Indian Epic made up of the films The Tiger of Bengal and The Tomb of Love is, to put it lightly, a cinematic enigma. While Lang is no stranger to both pulp fiction and long films, he oddly fails at both in this two-part travesty.
Watching a film like Lang's Metropolis or his five hour epic of Die Nibelungen is a magical experience. The films flow at such a brilliant pace, drawing in the viewer and creating a world of high drama and excitement amidst some of the most lavish and beautiful sets of the silent era. Yet, somehow, this magic is lost in his Indian Epic, as the nearly three and a half hours that comprise both films drags for what seems like an eternity. While the first film, The Tiger of Bengal, starts off like a pleasing, pulpy adventure story, it soon peters off nearly halfway through, setting the pace for what will be the rest of the first and the entire second film.
Production was evidently a very expensive and impressive one, complete with jewel-studded clothing, immense and desolate dungeons, and large and grandiose palaces, stocked with every little intricate detailed imagined; yet, these impressive settings are hardly utilized in to making this the film(s) it could have been, for they remain nothing more than eye-candy in what is ultimately a theatrical play of the most dire sort. Stilted, bland dialogue and scenes that drag and repeat play out almost cyclically: Where is the princess? She's over there. Where is the foreigner? He's over there. What should we do? We should do this... and so on, ad nauseam, until nearly three and a half hours of a film still unrealized is completed.
Even in some of Lang's previous minor failings he never achieved such a monotony as this. In his canceled pulp-adventure project, The Spiders, Lang was able to pull off an exhilarating tale of adventure in a foreign land for the first film, which would be canceled shortly after just the second Admittedly, the second and last entry of The Spiders almost seems to set a precedent for what would go wrong with both The Tiger of Bengal and The Tomb of Love: hardly anything happens.
I simply just don't understand what Lang went in to this project imagining. After reading this was a remake of the Indian Epic that he originally produced earlier on in his career I was so excited to finally sit and view what I imagined would be a wonderful adventure. I assumed it was one of his last, final great works; a tale of intrigue and adventure and lavish sets, and a film I could rely on for years to come to go back to and relieve the magic all again. Such a disappointment on so many levels, both as an adventure film, and arguably one of Lang's worst.
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