The Warrior is a British movie made byAsif Kapadia, a director of Indian origin. This movie, set in India is his first feature film and had a crew of diverse nationalities. The movie was appreciated all over and was the official entry for Academy awards from UK that year, but was rejected as the dialogues were in Hindi, a language that is not indigenous to UK. The Warrior catapulted Irrfan Khan, who had appeared in minor roles and in TV serials till then into international fame.
The Warrior, set in medieval India, is the story about the redemption of a brutaland remorseless warrior working for a cruel landlord in Rajasthan. Warrior hasa son whom he wantsto mold like himself. But the son is not interested and is of a more compassionate and passive nature. Once while raiding a village, the warrior happens to point his sword to the neck of ayoung girl and has a vision of him on a snow clad mountain. The vision causes an abrupt paradigm change in him and he decides to abandon violence. He decides togo to the mountains that he saw in the vision and lead a peaceful life. But the landlord and his colleagues are not ready to let him desertthem. His son dies trying to save his life. He embarks on the journey alone. Rest of the movie shows his journey and struggles,the people he encounters on the way, the changes theymake in him and his violent past catching up with him in the end.
This is a perfect example of how with limited resources, a movie with an epic feel can be made. Many actors are local people and first timers, the sets are actual ruins and villages in remote areas of Rajasthan and more importance is given for character development and story-telling. With a story based on the theme of violence, there was lot of chance to portray graphic onscreen gore. But the director cleverly avoids it and concentrating more on the emotional core of the story. Even the most violent scenes- a decapitation and many killings are shown out of screen with just the expressions of actors revealing the ferocity of incidents. Irrfan, with his expressive eyes does a fabulous job in revealing the troubled inside of a changed man. All the other supporting actors also does a great job, even those in bit parts.
I love movies that make me to think. I always feel there should be another layer below what is revealed to the audience, something that makes him connect the story withhis life. The Warrior is such a multi layered movie. I feel this movie is about going the right way. It beautifully portrays the hardships that a man has to endure if he chooses the right path. Everything turns back against him, he loses his loved ones, his colleagues are out for his blood and in every crossroad he has to reconsider his decision, in a dilemma,whether he has done the right thing. But in end things always gets fine. The journey from the barren lowlands of Rajasthan to upper mountains ofKulu, is essentially a spiritual journey to higher realms.