October 23, 2006

'City of Joy' is a joy to watch

I first saw 'City of Joy' when it was first released in 1992. Recently I bought the DVD from ebay. Watching it again, I enjoyed the movie tremendously as much as I did the first time. (By the way, don't let the name of Patrick Swayze discourage you from watching this movie....Swayze is actually pretty good here.)

Based on the bestselling book by Dominique Lapierre, the story tells of an American doctor, Max Lowe who gets disheartened after losing one of his patients on the operating table. Max travels to India in the hope of "finding himself". Not long after he arrives in Calcutta, Max is attacked loses his money and passport. However, a man named Hasari, played by Om Puri, comes to Max's rescue. Despite their poverty, Hasari and his family take Max in and bring him to a medical clinic in the City of Joy, one of the poorest slums in the city. The clinic is run by Joan Bethel (Pauline Collins), an Irish-American nun who urges Max to use his skills to help the people of Calcutta who so desperately need it. Max signs on, and he finds that the experience changes his life.

The movie is very uplifting and enlightening as it shows the strength of the human spirit, no matter how poor. The scenes in the slum area were very realistically filmed. Om Puri is excellent and memorable as the father who wants a better life for his family. The conclusion of the film is very touching and meaningful.

For those who have not seen this movie, I urge you to get hold of this. Excellent movie!!

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