Allusions to samurai epics and spaghetti westerns abound in this 2001 Indian drama by London-born Asif Kapadia, who like many first-time directors is better at quoting other movies than at blazing his own trail. Irfan Khan (Maqbool) plays a taciturn swordsman who's a member of India's medieval Rajput warrior caste. Wearied by long service to an evil warlord, he experiences a mystical vision that leads him to quit the battlefield and head with his young son to a Himalayan sanctuary, the warlord's horsemen fast on their trail. There's more than a nod to Sergio Leone in Kapadia's rugged wide-screen landscapes, minimal dialogue, and extreme close-ups, but there's scant humor to relieve the harshness, and though he has presence Khan is no Eastwood—or even a Mifune. In Hindi with subtitles. 86 min.
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