One Paragraph Movie Review: India Song

Two hundred and sixty-first film: India Song, a 1975 art film set in the French embassy in Calcutta that bored the cork out of me. Like being stuck in a fancy room for a year with only four pages of a Vogue fashion shoot for entertainment, so little happens that I legitimately thought my screen was frozen a couple of times. The story tells of Anne Marie, a frustrated embassy wife who takes lovers and will sleep with everyone except the Vice-Consul, a virgin who is obsessed with her — already a deceptively interesting synopsis. It uses inexplicable voice-over instead of dialogue, so you never see anyone talk on-screen. Almost all of the “action” — to criminally misuse that word — takes place in a single room with a full-length wall mirror, so you get to see how dull everything is twice. At least thirty minutes of the vision is a wordless slow-dance with various similar-looking partners, and there’s a twenty-five minute lingering shot of a single nipple that would cure even the horniest insomniac. Many of the words and phrases in the voice-over are repeated, like “leprosy” and “can’t bear it”, and I can’t bear it. I understand that art films can be great, I just get very, very cross at the boring ones. Half a stick of incense burning in real time out of five.

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