Sleepers to See: Freida Pinto Delivers a Strong Performance As Conflicted 'Trishna'

Derrick Deane

Let's take a moment to step away from the fervor and chaos of Comic-Con to tout a limited release film worth seeking out this weekend. Granted, the box office will be slow with the only new wide release being Ice Age: Continental Drift, giving you the perfect opportunity to check out Trishna.

What is Trishna? Directed by acclaimed English director Michael Winterbottom, Trishna is a loose adaptation of the classic Thomas Hardy novel Tess of the D'Urbervilles, set in modern-day India. The film stars Freida Pinto in the title role as a 19-year-old woman from a poor village who wins the attention of a young man from a rich family, played by Riz Ahemd. The film follows her journey as she experiences the different cultures of her country, moving between her small village to the bustling city of Mumbai.

 

Winterbottom creates a rich, gorgeous film around Trishna's journey, from a debilitating truck accident to a reunion with Ahmed's Jay and a, shall I say, "gut" wrenching finale. You might recognize Winterbottom's name from such films as 24 Hour Party People, A Mighty Heart, the NC-17 rated 9 Songs and The Killer Inside Me.

Those who thought Pinto was just another pretty face skating by one her looks are in for a pleasant surprise. She delivers her most complete performance to date, showing range as she goes from silent, submissive young girl to conflicted young woman who takes matters into her own hands. Though not necessarily an Oscar-caliber performance, you will witness this young actress take a major step up in her career.

 

If you're concerned that this is going to a Bollywood movie, fear not. While there are a few brief Bollywood scenes, the majority of the film is trained on Pinto and her complicated and at times disturbing relationship with Jay.

Before The Dark Knight Rises takes over theater screens, check out Trishna and for more on the movie, take a look at this extensive Q&A session with Winterbottom and Pinto. Trishna opens limited in New York and Los Angeles this weekend and VOD beginning July 20.

 

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