The Far Pavilions DVD Review–Rich and Dense
The folks out at Acorn Media have sent us a lot of interesting pieces over the last few months; they’ve introduced me to a lot of British television that’s been a lot different from anything I’ve seen before, like the Upstairs Downstairs series, Murdoch Mysteries, and of course, Doc Martin. So when they sent out a copy of The Far Pavilions, I was definitely interested. Would it prove as good as the other stuff they’ve sent out? The answer was yes, but for unusual reasons.
The Far Pavilions joins us with Ashton Pelham-Martyn, raised in India as the son of British parents. Ashton’s returned to India as a young military officer, and he’s got some serious problems on his hands. With the troubles of the locals on the one hand, and the troubles of British society on the other, he’s walking a fine line from this dichotomy pulling at him. And things will only get more complex when he reunites with childhood sweetheart Princess Anjuli. How will it all end up? I won’t be spoilering it here.
Clear your schedule for this one, because it’s going to take a chunk out of your calendar. Like five hours of chunk, and just a little bit extra. But this thing is spectacularly rich and dense in terms of content; there’s so much going on in here that it’s actually a bit hard to follow. There are the strangenesses of the Indian culture, the intrigues of the British culture, and between the lot, a world of difference. It’s part war movie, part drama, and largely unlike anything you’ve ever seen before.
It’s a bizarre title; there’s not much to compare it to, and that leaves the whole thing with this sort of unfathomable quality. When you haven’t seen much of anything like what you’re watching, it becomes rather unpredictable, strange in its way. But at the same time, that sheer unpredictability gives it an edge that you wouldn’t expect, and makes The Far Pavilions a lot more fun than it really has any right to be.
The Screenhead Ten Scale, meanwhile, gives The Far Pavilions an eight out of ten. There’s a whole lot going on here, and if you don’t want to follow along you’re likely going to be lost here from a very early stage. But if you’ve got the intestinal fortitude to keep up with Ashton and his many adventures, then you’re going to get a very welcome and very unique shot of drama here that’s unlike anything you’ve seen before.