paradise road true story
''Paradise Road'' opens with a terrific bang as the revelry in a swanky hotel ballroom in Singapore is shattered by Japanese bombs. It is too linear. It is no longer acceptable to portray the Japanese as the embodiment of evil; the monsters of “Bridge on the River Kwai” have now to be seen in a slightly better light, as harsh and cruel, perhaps, but not inhuman--and capable of sentiment when the prisoners form a choir and begin to perform classical choral works. That story can’t help but be a bit heartening in its way, but it’s also a little too obvious at every turn. The film begins at Raffles Hotel in Singapore in 1942, at an … Brutal World War II prison camps have been portrayed before, but this story is unique … The women are offered an alternative to the prison camp: If they volunteer to be prostitutes and please Japanese officers, they can live in a hotel with clean sheets, hot meals and nightly dances. And as the film speeds along, the death toll among the prisoners steadily mounts. But it has some hair-raising moments. California’s November election will feature 12 statewide ballot measures. In trying to keep track of everybody while providing enough melodrama to sustain an atmosphere of controlled terror, ''Paradise Road'' stumbles all over itself and never really finds its center. From the director of Driving Miss Daisy comes a true story of courage, triumph, friendship and strength. Endorsements. The film begins at Raffles Hotel in Singapore in 1942, at an elegant dinner dance. ''Paradise Road'' is rated R (Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian). It’s an endeavor that ends up touching even the stony hearts of their captors. A warmhearted horror show that puts cliched movie people into a realistic situation, the signals it sends out are nothing but mixed. Adrienne is one of hundreds of women assigned to a ship that in the movie's most spectacular scene is bombed by Japanese planes. In the stereotypical cross-section of prisoners, Ms. Close is the group's de facto leader, the upscale, matronly equivalent of a Dana Andrews character. If ''Paradise Road'' had an extra half-hour to develop its characters, it might have amounted to something more substantial than a series of disconnected little dramas. “Paradise Road” takes the same path, but another “Shine” it’s not. But if “Paradise Road” is realistic on a physical level, showing these women shoveling out latrines and coping with malaria as well as torture and foul food, its delineation of them as characters is considerably more pro forma. A Village Roadshow Pictures production, released by Fox Searchlight Pictures. An exploding bomb just outside the door changes everyone’s tone. The women are captured, they go to the camp, they suffer and endure, they perform their music, and then the war is over. See the article in its original context from. Told this story, and that it was true, you would think it would be enough for a screenplay. The preview, as previews often do, goes further, and claims it as "the extraordinary true story". At this point, the movie turns into a sprawling prison-camp soap opera that tries to track far too many characters than it can comfortably handle. (A lapse in the dialogue: When one woman seems tempted, another asks, “But what about the choir?”) Some women in such a position did choose to become prostitutes (some women in Raffles in 1942 no doubt had made that career choice even earlier). The scene is a typically overdramatized moment in a big, splashy film that feels unconvincing despite the fact that it is based on true incidents. Together with Miss Drummond, Pargiter, a music student before she married, comes up with the scheme of forming their fellow inmates into a vocal orchestra, in effect having the women delicately hum their way through some of the great pieces of the classical music repertoire. The performances are moving, especially Glenn Close's work as the strongest of the women, who conducts the choir. Written and directed by Bruce Beresford; director of photography, Peter James; edited by Timothy Wellburn; production designer, Herbert Pinter; produced by Sue Milliken and Greg Coote; released by Fox Searchlight. Endorsement: The Times endorses Hoffman, Anderson, Henderson and Han for LACCD. These opening sections, energized by a sense of urgency, are strong and promising. This film is rated R. WITH: Glenn Close (Adrienne Pargiter), Pauline Collins (Margaret Drummond), Frances McDormand (Dr. Verstak), Jennifer Ehle (Rosemary Leighton-Jones) and Elizabeth Spriggs (Mrs. Roberts). Among the more prominent are Margaret Drummond (Pauline Collins), a humble, sweet-natured Christian missionary who helps Adrienne organize the vocal orchestra, and Dr. Verstak (Frances McDormand), a cynical German-Jewish emigre who appoints herself the camp's resident physician and in-house smuggler of black-market goodies. Where to vote. Bruce Beresford’s feature film, Paradise Road, announces itself in large print to be "based on a true story". The movie now has a delicate balance to find. As Ms. Close lifts her hands to lead a humming chorus of the Largo from Dvorak's ''New World'' Symphony, her eyes glisten, her chin tilts upward at an angle that transforms her into a glowing patrician goddess, and a triumphant little smile plays across her lips. Written and directed by Bruce Beresford, whose better-known works include “Driving Miss Daisy,” “Tender Mercies” and “Breaker Morant,” this film is intended as a tribute to a group of women who found a unique source of strength that enabled them to survive years of nightmarish imprisonment. In the 40-odd years since the classic “The Bridge on the River Kwai” was set in a P.O.W. Paradise Road - Study Notes Overview: Beginning in February 1942 with the fall of Singapore to the Japanese, Paradise Road tells the story of a group of women from diverse backgrounds who struggle to endure the conditions of a Japanese prisoner of war camp on Sumatra. * MPAA rating: R, for prisoner of war brutality and violence. What issues are on the ballot in California and Los Angeles County. Conditions are brutal in the tropical climate, food is scarce, living quarters are filthy, and the camp commandant (Sab Shimono) supervises cruel punishments, including one where a woman must kneel for hours in the hot sun, or fall over onto sharp spikes. Producers Sue Milliken, Greg Coote. You would probably think it would make a good movie: After all, it's even true. Pauline Collins, the erstwhile star of “Shirley Valentine,” smoothly handles the role of Miss Drummond, a saintly, unflappable missionary. There was something in her voice that unsettled me. Given these brave, muddy women singing Dvorak, why am I not content? It Takes a Saint to Keep a Prison Camp Humming. camp for men, standards for allowable on-screen brutality have considerably loosened, and “Paradise Road” takes full advantage of the change. One of the few stranded without a lifeboat, she swims to shore and finds herself in a Sumatran marsh. In 1975, he won the Pulitzer Prize for distinguished criticism. Almost immediately comes the announcement that the city will fall in a few days and a hurried plan to evacuate women and children by sea is put into effect. How to vote. Production design Herbert Pinter. It is 1942, and … Fast forward to a different time and place. Trivia collectors take note: “Shine” is no longer the only Australian film to use classical music as the key to a sentimental drama about the unbreakable resilience of the human spirit. Less successful is Frances McDormand, unusually at sea as the German Jewish Dr. Verstak, who calls everyone “darling” in a castoff Marlene Dietrich accent. It's almost as though this radiant creature were an Olympian statue who materialized like Glinda the Good Witch just in the nick of time to waft sweet music into an Oz that has turned into an inferno. Through it all, she maintains her impeccable boarding-school manners along with the indomitable self-confidence of a Great Lady serenely pulling herself up out of the mud. It is 1942, and the supposedly impregnable city is being stormed by Japanese troops.


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