Pascali's Island



IMDb Rating 6.8 10 1284

Plot summary

October 09, 2022 at 11:20 PM


James Dearden

Top cast

Helen Mirren as Lydia Neuman
Charles Dance as Anthony Bowles
Ben Kingsley as Basil Pascali
952.29 MB
English 2.0
24 fps
1 hr 43 min
P/S ...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by inframan 9 / 10

A delicious movie

Beautifully acted, wonderfully realized, full of sensual details & the sort of behavioral, moral, political, historical nuances you'll never ever find in american films. Gorgeous to view & review again & again.

Reviewed by peedur 10 / 10

Beautifully rendered

This has been a favorite film of mine for years, for many reasons. The setting is a heartbreakingly beautiful island in the Mediterranean, a distant part of the dying Ottoman Empire. The photography by Roger Deakins is superbly understated. While its quite spare, lacking the over-detailed lighting of, say, a Merchant Ivory period-production, it is undeniably soaked with the warmth and specificity of place, very much an Orientalist painting (rather like the book). There is an immediacy to the look and feel of the film which adds to its historical integrity.

The casting is brilliant; all the characters appear sculpturally archetypal. Ben Kingsley is superb as Pascali, inhabiting the doomed, lonely, character completely. His emotional monologue/prayer to the sultan near the beginning and which ends the film are intoned like music. Helen Mirren is perfect as Pascali's friend, muse and as his unattainable virtue, the source of his fevered longing. Charles Dance (who always appears larger than life, even on film) is excellent as the archeological con-man who stumbles over something pure and is trapped by it. Steffan Gryff wields an immortal, cunning profile and along with Nadim Sawalha as the Pasha, behave and look like the Ottoman Empire's corruption made flesh.

The story is a seductive mix; a gorgeous setting blended with serious melancholy, punctuated by a minor adventure and all informed by a clear respect for history. Its a small story (as emotionally guarded stories invariably feel) but its a terrific film.

Pascali has watched, spied and reported his whole life for masters who are doubtless unaware of his existence at all. As this is slowly dawning on him he is suddenly swept up in an minor intrigue which crystalizes all of his wishes and hopes. He sees a chance for personal renewal, but to achieve it he has to overcome instincts developed from a lifetime of deceit in a petty, corrupt outpost of a dying empire.

Recommended highly.

Reviewed by artzau 10 / 10

Incredible little movie!

There's nothing wrong with this film. Everything in it works. The story, one of frustration experienced by the principle character, the one and only Sir Ben Kingsley in the title role, playing a rather inept informant in an incompetent political system, the Ottoman Empire, in the days before the "Great War," WW1, is solid and poignant. The presence of supporting actors like Charles Dance and Helen Mirren, both great Brit actors round off a delightful movie that is worth seeing again and again.

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