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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 17, No. 1. March 4, 1953

'The River'

'The River'

Now for a lovely, lyrical, peaceful, leisurely film, a delight to watch and a delight to hear. Jean Renoir's love-poem; no bitterness, irony or satire. A Song of Sympathy for people and their habits, sung in a moving way by one of the artists of the screen.

It is a long time since I saw this film, so only the deeper marks are left in the sand. I remember:
(a)The film's presentation of the simple story of life that is caught in the river of Time, which brings alt and takes all.
(b)The director's brilliant inter-woving of the colourful Indian ceremonies and rituals—the Kail Puja and Holi Day festival—Into his story of a young girl growing up.
(c)The colourful use made of the natural and artificial by the film's photographer.
(d)The simplicity of presentation, from the homely tragedy of Bogey's death to the complete naturalness of the players.
(e)The film's sound track with the ritualistic drumming which hauntingly sets the tone for so many scenes, the gay kite song and the Strauss waltz which is the "signature tune" of the love scenes.

What is my greatest memory? it is that this film made a great Impression on me. I was moved by it and that is praise enough. But let me give it more. "The River" was the best film of 1952. Dare I call it "great"? I confidently answer "yes."

Grading: *****