Analysis Of The Film Passage Of India

1900 words - 8 pages

“A Passage to India” is a film released in 1984; however, the film was set in the 1920s. The film shows India under the British Raj during a time of animosity and the Indians’ anti-imperialist attitude. Furthermore, the film displays themes of prejudice and India on its journey of becoming its own independent nation. “A Passage to India” has a powerful message of the racism in India during the time of the British Raj and the message shines through vivid imagery and a thrilling plot. A short synopsis of the film is two educated British women travel by boat to India. When they arrive in India one of the women, Adela, feels as if she is not experiencing the “real” India. Adela wants to meet and converse with the Indians, which many other British people did not wish to do. In addition, the film illustrates the obvious class difference between the British and the Indians in India. The British are dressed in beautiful, expensive clothing and participate in activities such as, afternoon tea served by the Indians. Moreover, the class difference is predominantly shown in the film; consequently, the two main female characters, Adela and Mrs. Moore are uneasy by it. Thus, unlike their other British counterparts they want to have interaction with the Indian people and want to learn about their culture. Additionally, another issue that is prevalent is, it shows how the Indians have to change their lifestyle to fit with the British rather than the British trying to fit into Indian culture whilst living in the Indians’ home country. This illustrates the lack of consideration the British had for India during the time. India was nothing more than just a colony to the British.
In addition, language was an essential theme. There was a scene in the movie where Adela and Mrs. Moore are trying to immerse themselves in Indian culture and speak to the Indian people. Mrs. Moore in the scene says “I wish I could speak your language.” and then an Indian woman replies back “we can speak yours.” and Mrs. Moore says in a shocked, but pleased tone “she understands.” The Indians were required to learn the English language to fit in with the British and communicate with them; moreover, this was a connection to the Macaulay’s Minute on education. Macaulay felt that the Indians should be English educated because then they can be competitive in the trade market and languages such as, Sanskrit and Latin were not as useful. Furthermore, it develops the theme of the Indians changing to fit in with the British rather than the British having to learn Hindi. Although, the British and the Indians both speak English the Indians’ desire for freedom is never fully understood by the British. The theme of language further illustrates the British’s superiority over the Indians. The British’s superior attitude was prevalent throughout the film, one scene that established this was when Adela, said “I haven’t spoke to a real Indian since I’ve arrived.” and someone replies “lucky you.” The...

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