Directed by Asif Kapadia. UK. 2001.
The film is a very visual spectacle which tells the story in a very focused and confident way. Film references for Kapadia include movies by Sergio Leone, Mizoguchi and Zhang Yimou. Very influential was also the Vietnamese film Cyclo by Tran Anh Hung.
The story is about Lafcadia, a veteran warrior, played by the charismatic Indian actor Irfan Khan, who is ordered by his Chieftain to destroy a village, because it hasnít delivered itís crops. During the killing and burning of the village, he encounters a young girl wearing a medallion belonging to his own son Katiba. This is a decisive moment in Lafcadiaís life, then and there he decides to give up his violent life. He radically changes in to a searcher for inner peace. On his journey to achieve this, he meets Riaz, a thief who has escaped from a labour camp. Riaz is played by Noor Mani, a street boy from New Delhi. He travels along with Lafcadia; on their journey they encounter a blind old woman , who is looking for a sacred lake in the mountains.
You donít get to know much about the motives of his behaviour, but this is not a psychological drama. For those grand style Panavision epics different criteria count, but at the same time it makes it harder for the viewer to empathy with the characters.
The shooting circumstances were extremely harsh. Kapadia said: ďTemperatures were sometimes 47 degrees, too hot to think. People were dropping in the heat, scorpions were wandering around the set and somebody got bitten by a rabid dog.Ē
Itís interesting to wonder
which direction Asif Kapadiaís career will go from here, but whatever path
he will follow, more cinematically epics like The Warrior or more
small scale intimate films like The Sheep Thief, he will be definitely
a new young filmmaker to watch.
Warrior is released by Film Four/ VCI on DVD (r.r.p. £19.99) on 16
September 2002, Certificate 12 (TBC)
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