City of Joy (1992)

 ●  English ● 2 hrs 12 mins

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Hazari Pal lives in a small village in Bihar, India, with his dad, mom, wife, Kamla, daughter, Amrita, and two sons, Shambhu and Manooj. As the Pal are unable to repay the loan they had taken years ago from a moneylender, their land and property are auctioned, and they are rendered homeless. Hazari and his family re-locate to Calcutta with hopes of starting life anew, save some money and go back to Bihar, as well as get Amrita married. Things do not go as planned, as they lose their entire savings to a con-man, Gangooly, who took their money as rent by pretending to be a landlord. Then Hazari gets an opportunity to take up driving a rickshaw manually through a local godfather, Ghatak. He gets to meet a American, Dr. Max Lowe, and together they strike up a friendship along with a local social worker, Joan Bethel. Misunderstandings crop up between Joan and the Godfather, resulting in the shutting down of their shanty medical clinic. When Hazari sides with Joan, his rickshaw is taken away. Things get worse when the Godfather passes away, leaving his estate to his way-ward son, Ashok Ghatak, who has plans to do away with the slums, especially the lepers who have now started frequenting the locality, Max, Joan and above all Hazari himself, and he is determined to take the "joy" of living in Calcutta.
See Storyline (May Contain Spoilers)

Cast: Om Puri, Patrick Swayze, Shabana Azmi

Crew: Roland Joffé (Director), Peter Biziou (Director of Photography), Ennio Morricone (Music Director)

Genres: Drama

Release Dates: 15 Apr 1992 (India)

Tagline: True heroism lies in the quality of the struggle.

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Did you know? Among the problems that beset the production were fire-bombings, mass demonstrations, media criticism, accusations of murder, a skyrocketing budget that eventually settled at the $27 million mark, and Warner Brothers' 11th hour pullout that nearly bankrupted the producers. Read More
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Film Type:
Feature Film
Language:
English
Colour Info:
Color
Sound Mix:
Dolby
Frame Rate:
24 fps
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1
Stereoscopy:
No
Taglines:
True heroism lies in the quality of the struggle.
He was a man who couldn't care less... until he met a man who couldn't care more.
Trivia:
Among the problems that beset the production were fire-bombings, mass demonstrations, media criticism, accusations of murder, a skyrocketing budget that eventually settled at the $27 million mark, and Warner Brothers' 11th hour pullout that nearly bankrupted the producers.

Beset with antagonism from politicians and inhabitants of Calcutta, director Roland Joffe approached India's leading director Satyajit Ray to condone the production. Joffe tried four times to meet with Ray but he refused each time.

Two assistant directors were accused of the murder of a local journalist who had worked for Ashok Dasgupta, editor of "Aaj Kal", one of the leading Indian newspapers. Dasgupta launched a series of personal attacks against the production, at one point even accusing Roland Joffe of making a porn film. Although it later transpired that the journalist in question had died of lung cancer, Dasgupta refused to withdraw his attacks, charging Joffe with paying off the autopsy physicians and police, and demanding that he hire two Indian crew members because they had insulted him. Joffe refused his demands.

Indian writer 'Sunil Gandopadhyay' - a former collaborator of Satyajit Ray - was brought on board to help with the script's authenticity. This also acted as a seal of approval for the Indian authorities who will only allow foreign productions to film on the continent if they contain significant Indian input.

The last cinema feature of Sam Wanamaker.

At 1:51 the poster at the wall is "Theodore Gericault Raft of the Medusa"
Movie Connection(s):
References: Rambo: First Blood Part II (English)