The first happy day in the adult life of Anjuli (Amy Irving) is the day her husband's body is set on fire. Her rich and powerful husband, the Rana of Bhitor (Rossano Brazzi), is ritually immolated in a lavish ceremony where his other wife, Anjuli's half sister, is expected to commit ritual suttee. Only after she is released from her marriage is Anjuli free to follow her heart. Based on M.M. Kaye's beloved novel, The Far Pavilions
tells the haunting love story of Anjuli and Ash (Ben Cross) against the spectacular backdrop of mid-19th-century colonial India, replete with accurate historical and cultural details. Full of battle, treachery, intrigue, passion, and prejudice, the film brims with stunning sights, from the peaks of the Himalayas to the famed palaces of Bhitor, remarkable battle scenes, and royal pageantry, including a lavish, several-day-long traditional Hindu wedding where the groom enters on an elephant. The all-star cast, including Omar Sharif, Sir John Gielgud, and Rupert Everett, truly brings the novel to life.
This two-DVD set includes interactive menus, a scene index, production notes, and a Kaye biography and book list. Originally released for television in 1984, The Far Pavilions has inspired viewers to travel to India, plus it has been included in numerous university courses because of its postcolonial and multicultural themes. This film will appeal to viewers interested in postcolonialism or Indian history and culture as well as anyone who loves a good romance. --Tara Chace