I really wanted to love Michael Winterbottom’s latest film, Trishna, which screened for the first time in the U.S. last week at the Tribeca Film Festival. The English director, best known for the fantastic 24 Hour Party People, loosely based Trishna on Thomas Hardy’s classic novel Tess of the D’Urbervilles (Winterbottom also previously adapted two other Hardy novels for his films Jude and The Claim). Trishna is set in India and stars Freida Pinto as the title character, a poor farm girl from Rajasthan, who is pursued by and eventually destroyed by her love for Jay, the British-born son of a hotel tycoon, played by Riz Ahmed.

Marcel Zyskind’s cinematography was beautiful and did justice to the colorful scenery in India while the acting by both Pinto and Ahmed was on-point.¬†Shigeru Umebayashi’s score (who did the heartbreaking score for Wong Kar-wai’s In the Mood for Love) was poignant and complemented the film quite well. However, despite a few moments of emotion, I wasn’t moved to tears as I had expected and wanted to be. As I write this, I still can’t pinpoint exactly why I wasn’t as affected; perhaps my expectations of the film were set too high from the start, or perhaps it was due to completely disagreeing with the choices Trishna made, but that hasn’t been an issue for me before with other films. While I appreciated Trishna, something was missing in the film for me. That being said, as film (like music) is subjective, my friend who I saw Trishna with loved it. You can see the trailer for Trishna above, which will see a limited release this July.

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