FILM & THEATRE

Film options for Reef and The Sandglass are now available again.

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The Prisoner of Paradise

 
Gunesekera is a Sri Lankan, with an islander’s innate feel for the rhythms and textures of Mauritius. He is also is an extremely lyrical and sensuous writer, as a result of which The Prisoner of Paradise is an intensely visual book. In fact, reading it one can almost see the film playing inside one’s head: directed, perhaps, by Joe Wright, of Pride and Prejudice fame, or maybe Mira Nair (who could pick up where she left off with Vanity Fair). It would probably feature Keira Knightley as Lucy, Bob Hoskins as the boorish Uncle George and, oh yes, Amitabh Bachchan as the exiled prince of Ceylon. The music would be by the Oscar-winning Alexandre Desplat, with his eclectic African-Brazilian influences, and the cinematography would be by John Seale, who filmed The English Patient so lushly. The only question is, who will play the brooding Don Lambodar? If Irrfan Khan had been fifteen years younger, he would have been ideal, but maybe one could look instead at Nawazuddin Siddiqui, that wonderfully talented young actor from Patang, Peepli (Live), Firaaq and New York.

My guess is that discussions on the film are already underway. Knowing how savvy the Mauritian economic affairs ministry is, their representatives are no doubt already at work, networking in Hollywood to catalyse the project with a view to promoting and giving a boost to their tourism industry. But if you’ve read the book, it will probably be unnecessary to see the film. Which is a tribute to Gunesekera’s rich, imagery-laden prose.

from India Today review