Reviews for City of Joy ( 1992 ) 720p

Om Puri great as always

By: SnoopyStyle
Hazari Pal (Om Puri) and his family are homeless peasants forced to leave their village. They arrive in Calcutta and is con out of their savings almost immediately. American non-practicing doctor Max Lowe (Patrick Swayze) gets beaten by thugs and everything stolen. Hazari sleeping in the street nearby comes to his rescue. Max is taken to Joan Bethel (Pauline Collins) and her City of Joy. Hazari gets a rickshaw job from the Godfather whose son cruel Ashok Ghatak was the one that had his thugs beat up Max.

This is one of the old fashion White Savior movies. In fact, I would prefer the White Savior to be more standard. Max is a bit annoying. He says he wants enlightenment at the start but he acted more like a clueless ugly American. Om Puri again delivers like he always does. His character is terrific and balances out any deficiency in Max. Max needs the fire that is in his character but also the smarts and understanding of Joan. Also the story could be more compelling if it ended with the confrontation against Ghatak. The trial could have led directly to a climax. The movie goes on a little too long after that.

Joyous Human Development that Beats the Odds

By: Marcin Kukuczka
"Under stress human beings reveal who they really are. We are all survivors; that is what we have in common. What is most important is how a person manages to survive. True heroism lies in the quality of that daily struggle." (Roland Joffe, the director).

CITY OF JOY based on the novel by Dominique Lapierre may bring to mind the spiritual content that Roland Joffe primordially manifested in his earlier MISSION (1986). As much as it may symbolize a particularly similar approach to the storyline and the content, its quintessential essence lies in its location and its characters. Geographical sentiment accurately mixes with the spiritual/religious one. But, first of all, Mr Joffe's movie appears to be, what Frederic and Mary Ann Bussat call it, "an uplifting portrait of love in action ... a poignant picture of everyday heroism ... an enhancement of life" that occurs to find its relevance in joyous human development.

As it appears to be the case with every film that has attempted to address certain spiritual content, CITY OF JOY also intrigued quite diverse viewpoints. Among the top critics and reviewers, Vincent Canby of New York Times labeled the film as "phony from start to finish" adding that it actually "lacks the courage of its confused convictions" while Roger Ebert was more positive about the film's appeal to general audiences. Contemporary movie buffs also resort to certain 'limits' in that respect. Some viewers, particularly American and European ones, consider CITY OF JOY a Patrick Swayze film. Yes, to some extent it is a Patrick Swayze film but...not entirely. Let me highlight certain aspects of his performance.

Indeed, Mr Swayze's character of Max, whom Roger Ebert calls "a drifting hedonist" in his review, plays a decisive role in the film's theme as well as creates a wonderful insight into a development a man might undergo in certain circumstances. Patrick Swayze delivers a tremendously powerful performance depicting a variety of emotions that might be at war within the heart and mind of a doctor who has experienced a tragic death of his patient and wants to "disappear in the sea of humanity" (Ebert). He embodies a spiritual quest for finding himself in the hardship of this world, finding his own place, leaving the past behind and start everything anew. He goes to India and, though the beginning of this visit mixes drama with humor, he does not expect what charitable spirit he will have to cultivate within himself and in the world around him. This inner war must 'infect' others and help them see it is really hard and wonderful alike to be a human being in order to beat the odds. Patrick Swayze's scenes are supplied with terrific emotions and a very appealing portrayal of an American in India facing the uniqueness of its culture and lifestyle.

As a counterpart to his rebellious nature and desperate quest for transforming power comes Hasari played brilliantly by Om Puri. While Max represents an individual in the new reality who undergoes doubts and hesitation, Hasari is an example of a joyous giver from the beginning. What keeps him in that tranquility is his family, his wife and children. There, in the crowded, noisy streets of Calcutta, he looks for a job. By chance, he becomes a rickshaw driver and these scenes, simple, austere, funny find their relevance in the title 'joy' that may rise in a human who does not feel abandoned and not needed. His relation with Max, turbulent and wild as it may seem at moments, concludes in some of the most magnificent moments of the film. Both give much of themselves and both do not lose. Ebert makes here a parallel to such a classic as BICYCLE THIEF that finds its realization in Hasari's character and he is not that far from the accurate observation. We see a human being placed in terrible situation who does not, yet, give up.

The female character, we could say the heroine of the movie, is the Irish Joan Bethel played by Pauline Collins. Vincent Canby calls her partly humorously as "feisty, youngish, Irish – born variation of Mother Theresa." As there is no 'love story' of Max and Joan, she is given great scenes as the embodiment of charity in the brute world ruled by 'godfathers' and their puppets. As a devoted Catholic, she is also a committed giver.

All those characters create a healthy balance and help the movie resist the temptation of being a 'star vehicle' or sole focus on Patrick Swayze.

Amongst he artistic values of the movie, one has to mention the terrific music by Ennio Morricone which goes well with the joyous shouts that draw parallels to the story and the lovely, almost haunting images of people in the streets.

All in all, a very valuable movie that beats the odds of criticism from indifferent intellectuals and brings out what is really best in humanity: love. A must see not only for Patrick Swayze fans or those who enjoy the atmospheric style of Roland Joffe.

Joyous Human Development that Beats the Odds

By: marcin_kukuczka
"Under stress human beings reveal who they really are. We are all survivors; that is what we have in common. What is most important is how a person manages to survive. True heroism lies in the quality of that daily struggle." (Roland Joffe, the director).

CITY OF JOY based on the novel by Dominique Lapierre may bring to mind the spiritual content that Roland Joffe primordially manifested in his earlier MISSION (1986). As much as it may symbolize a particularly similar approach to the storyline and the content, its quintessential essence lies in its location and its characters. Geographical sentiment accurately mixes with the spiritual/religious one. But, first of all, Mr Joffe's movie appears to be, what Frederic and Mary Ann Bussat call it, "an uplifting portrait of love in action ... a poignant picture of everyday heroism ... an enhancement of life" that occurs to find its relevance in joyous human development.

As it appears to be the case with every film that has attempted to address certain spiritual content, CITY OF JOY also intrigued quite diverse viewpoints. Among the top critics and reviewers, Vincent Canby of New York Times labeled the film as "phony from start to finish" adding that it actually "lacks the courage of its confused convictions" while Roger Ebert was more positive about the film's appeal to general audiences. Contemporary movie buffs also resort to certain 'limits' in that respect. Some viewers, particularly American and European ones, consider CITY OF JOY a Patrick Swayze film. Yes, to some extent it is a Patrick Swayze film but...not entirely. Let me highlight certain aspects of his performance.

Indeed, Mr Swayze's character of Max, whom Roger Ebert calls "a drifting hedonist" in his review, plays a decisive role in the film's theme as well as creates a wonderful insight into a development a man might undergo in certain circumstances. Patrick Swayze delivers a tremendously powerful performance depicting a variety of emotions that might be at war within the heart and mind of a doctor who has experienced a tragic death of his patient and wants to "disappear in the sea of humanity" (Ebert). He embodies a spiritual quest for finding himself in the hardship of this world, finding his own place, leaving the past behind and start everything anew. He goes to India and, though the beginning of this visit mixes drama with humor, he does not expect what charitable spirit he will have to cultivate within himself and in the world around him. This inner war must 'infect' others and help them see it is really hard and wonderful alike to be a human being in order to beat the odds. Patrick Swayze's scenes are supplied with terrific emotions and a very appealing portrayal of an American in India facing the uniqueness of its culture and lifestyle.

As a counterpart to his rebellious nature and desperate quest for transforming power comes Hasari played brilliantly by Om Puri. While Max represents an individual in the new reality who undergoes doubts and hesitation, Hasari is an example of a joyous giver from the beginning. What keeps him in that tranquility is his family, his wife and children. There, in the crowded, noisy streets of Calcutta, he looks for a job. By chance, he becomes a rickshaw driver and these scenes, simple, austere, funny find their relevance in the title 'joy' that may rise in a human who does not feel abandoned and not needed. His relation with Max, turbulent and wild as it may seem at moments, concludes in some of the most magnificent moments of the film. Both give much of themselves and both do not lose. Ebert makes here a parallel to such a classic as BICYCLE THIEF that finds its realization in Hasari's character and he is not that far from the accurate observation. We see a human being placed in terrible situation who does not, yet, give up.

The female character, we could say the heroine of the movie, is the Irish Joan Bethel played by Pauline Collins. Vincent Canby calls her partly humorously as "feisty, youngish, Irish – born variation of Mother Theresa." As there is no 'love story' of Max and Joan, she is given great scenes as the embodiment of charity in the brute world ruled by 'godfathers' and their puppets. As a devoted Catholic, she is also a committed giver.

All those characters create a healthy balance and help the movie resist the temptation of being a 'star vehicle' or sole focus on Patrick Swayze.

Amongst he artistic values of the movie, one has to mention the terrific music by Ennio Morricone which goes well with the joyous shouts that draw parallels to the story and the lovely, almost haunting images of people in the streets.

All in all, a very valuable movie that beats the odds of criticism from indifferent intellectuals and brings out what is really best in humanity: love. A must see not only for Patrick Swayze fans or those who enjoy the atmospheric style of Roland Joffe.

Life in a Calcuttan ghetto

By: Wuchak
"City of Joy" has a lot going for it: A great director ("The Killing Fields," "The Mission (Two-Disc Special Edition)"), a great cast (Patrick Swayze, Om Puri) and outstanding locations/sets (Calcutta). It's a worthwhile film with a lot of good and it's clear that 2008's "Slumdog Millionaire" borrowed from it, but it's not a standout picture. Why? Because great films take you into the world of the characters to the point that you forget you're watching a movie. While I think "City of joy" is a very worthwhile film, it failed to do this for me. Too often I was conscious of the fact that I was watching actors in a movie. Another problem is that the story jumped around without a good sense of flow. For instance, near the end with about 25 minutes left, the story jumps to the monsoon storms and the salvation of someone, which takes a few minutes; it then jumps right back into the main story. If you had gotten up to go to the kitchen you'd have missed it. Bad flow.

Regardless, this is a film that can have a positive effect on your life. Suddenly, your life doesn't seem too bad and you find yourself exceedingly grateful for your lot in life. I literally wept through parts of the first half, which is a sign of a worthwhile film, even though it's a mixed bag.

This one needed more time & effort to develop, but sometimes filmmakers pull the plug prematurely to just "get the job done," and it shows.

The film runs 132 minutes.

GRADE: C

Life in a Calcuttan ghetto

By: Wuchakk
"City of Joy" has a lot going for it: A great director ("The Killing Fields," "The Mission (Two-Disc Special Edition)"), a great cast (Patrick Swayze, Om Puri) and outstanding locations/sets (Calcutta). It's a worthwhile film with a lot of good and it's clear that 2008's "Slumdog Millionaire" borrowed from it, but it's not a standout picture. Why? Because great films take you into the world of the characters to the point that you forget you're watching a movie. While I think "City of joy" is a very worthwhile film, it failed to do this for me. Too often I was conscious of the fact that I was watching actors in a movie. Another problem is that the story jumped around without a good sense of flow. For instance, near the end with about 25 minutes left, the story jumps to the monsoon storms and the salvation of someone, which takes a few minutes; it then jumps right back into the main story. If you had gotten up to go to the kitchen you'd have missed it. Bad flow.

Regardless, this is a film that can have a positive effect on your life. Suddenly, your life doesn't seem too bad and you find yourself exceedingly grateful for your lot in life. I literally wept through parts of the first half, which is a sign of a worthwhile film, even though it's a mixed bag.

This one needed more time & effort to develop, but sometimes filmmakers pull the plug prematurely to just "get the job done," and it shows.

The film runs 132 minutes.

GRADE: C

Moving and sensitive chronicle about survival in a poverty-stricken city

By: ma-cortes
Disilusioned American heart surgeon named Max Lowe (Patrick Swayze who lacks some the emotional range) flees to India after losing a patient . In the extremely poor city of Calcutta he is beaten by a street band (led by Art Malik) and being robbed his money and loses the passport but finds help from an ex-farmer named Hazari(Om Puri , excellent as poor but obstinate worker) who takes him to a nearby clinic in the City of Joy , one of Calcutta's poorest areas . Hazari and his family have re-located to Calcutta with hopes of starting a new life , save some money and go back to their village , as well as get Amrita married . There Joan (Pauline Collins who is magnificent for her part) runs a miserable clinic without medicines and recruits the reluctant medic who undergoes a life-changing transformation . Meanwhile Hazari gets a job as a Rickshaw driver through a local godfather, Ghatak and new problems emerge when the exploiter rises the rents .

This is an enjoyable account of the survival of the human spirit against difficulties . The movie is plenty of graphic , striking and memorable moments , dictating a strong emotional response from the spectator . However , the city's portrayal as a magical location where troubles miraculously disappear is unrealistic . Interesting and thought-provoking movie with evident excitement that can sometimes be undercut by inadequacies in the screenplay , being adapted from a book by Dominique Lapierre . This moving picture results to be a breathtaking spectacle , including strong emotions , brooding dialogue and including a heartbreaking final . Beset with antagonism from politicians and inhabitants of Calcutta, director Roland Joffe approached India's leading director Satyajit Ray to condone the production , Joffe tried four times to meet with Ray but he refused each time. Among the problems that beset the production were fire-bombings, mass demonstrations, media criticism, accusations of murder, a skyrocketing budget that eventually settled at the $27 million mark, and Warner Brothers' 11th hour pullout that nearly bankrupted the producers . Joffe had the good idea to use Academy Award-nominated writer Mark Medoff and the result was an emotional bullseye with a sensitive tale of unfortunate and poor peasant workers in poor city of Calcutta ; however , it was not a major box-office hit . Colorful cinematography in strong visual sense by Peter Bizou . As Always , the maestro Ennio Morricone composes a marvelous and stirring musical score .

The motion picture was well directed by the British Roland Joffe . Although Warners was terrified of doing a film about lepers. They said, "Who cares about lepers?" I said it's not a film about lepers, it's a film about life and about any outsider - it could be AIDS, because the way people respond to lepers isn't that different from the way people with AIDS are treated . Roland is a good filmmaker mainly of epic subjects . After a long career filming for television , he made his movie debut in a big way with ¨The killing fields¨ winner of three Oscar and dealing with madness and atrocities committed by humans , Joffe's usual theme. ¨The mission¨, one of his greatest hits , had Palme d'or at Cannes , a graphic monument to Portuguese oppression in South-America , but Joffe has not quite held his place at the top level . He subsequently directed ¨Fat Man and Little Boy¨ referring to two atomic bombs dropped by America on Japan . Joffe's meagre output for the cinema makes it all the more surprising that he has turned out three splendid films and several others near-disasters such as ¨The scarlet letter¨, ¨Captivity¨, and ¨You and me¨. ¨Rating ¨City of Joy¨ : Better than average , worthwhile watching . The picture will appeal to Patrick Swayze fans .

Talking about a Legacy

By: David McLean (dave-930-429885)
City Of Joy: I am writing this now because no one seems to have made a review post Patrick Swayze's death. I enjoyed the movie before this, but I am also wise enough to see its flaws. Saying this I still cannot help but to see the movie as a legacy I'm sure he would be proud of. It's no Action sensation like Point Break but having traveled the sub-continent it has a sense of the sadness of reality. When you Google Patrick Swayze's top films it does not make the cut.... Pushed out instead by Ghost, Youngblood, Roadhouse, Dirty Dancing and so on. This film however makes me wonder what how he would rank his film achievements.

Talking about a Legacy

By: dave-930-429885
City Of Joy: I am writing this now because no one seems to have made a review post Patrick Swayze's death. I enjoyed the movie before this, but I am also wise enough to see its flaws. Saying this I still cannot help but to see the movie as a legacy I'm sure he would be proud of. It's no Action sensation like Point Break but having traveled the sub-continent it has a sense of the sadness of reality. When you Google Patrick Swayze's top films it does not make the cut.... Pushed out instead by Ghost, Youngblood, Roadhouse, Dirty Dancing and so on. This film however makes me wonder what how he would rank his film achievements.

Read the source

By: hprashantarora
To truly appreciate the characters of City of Joy, you have to read the book by the same name by Dominique Lapierre. Compared to its source material, the movie is a fairy tale. The hardships that the leading characters go through in the novel are gut wrenching and on more than one occasion almost made me cry. It was nice to see Patrick Swayze take his role head on and I think he did a marvelous job. Om Puri is one of the finest actors of Indian Cinema. If you like his work, I highly recommend "ArthSatya" (Half Truth) and "Paar" - the movies that established him as an intense actor. Also "Freedom At Midnight" by Dominique Lapierre is a great read, especially if you are interested in history. Again - it is not for anyone with a weak stomach.
By: charles.k.munroe
The story and the characters in this movie are worthy and good, but inmy opinion the true merit of this film is that it highlights howdifferent situations and peoples of the world are in fact. To say thatwe're all the same and equal is true on one level -- a moral level.But, the real world operates on another level, and this film highlightsit well.

There is tremendous poverty on our planet. The Western World has prettymuch extinguished the degree of poverty shown in this film, and that iswonderful. But, many in the West seem to believe that everyone thinksand reacts as they do: with hope and confidence in the future. That isnot true in many other parts of the world, and very often that is notdue to a personal weakness, but to economic and cultural factors thathave resonated for years – for centuries. How one born and raised in apretty hopeless environment feels and thinks is certainly quitedifferent than how the same occurs in a First World country. Theextremes of poverty, the hopelessness, repeated futility of efforts,persecutions on personal and public levels... all have combined tocreate a unique pathos that outsiders find hard to understand.

Are some people in the world trapped and have they become lethargic asa result? Yes, but it is imperative to understand that they have seenmany generations of others try to escape the ravages of poverty, onlyto run into box canyons. Eventually, repeated failures affect an entirepopulation, and this movie reveals that fact to some degree. It shouldalso be noted that a great deal of abject poverty in that part of theworld is the result of too many people, too little food, and brutalcycles of weather that destroy all in the way.

What this film makes me ponder is just how such desperate peoples canbest be helped by outsiders. Unfortunately, there is not a simple norsingle answer. Situations and individuals and opportunities are inconstant flux. Outsiders with big hearts may relieve some pain andsuffering, but in the end most of the people will have to becomedetermined enough to better their circumstances, and to then dowhatever it takes. Others can help the struggling to pull on theirbootstraps, but others cannot wear the boots for them or do their workfor them.

This movie depicts a single set of unique events that resulted inpeople finally becoming determined to be masters of their own fate,come what may. I think that is the important message of this movie. Ithink outsiders can help some people see a new path to selfactualization.
By: knh69
A movie that will carry you to a new place & a new culture you willcarry your tears, anger & hope along till the end watching it. Thesmell of the Indian dust, The pain of the people, The discrepancybetween even the poor, A story about a man running to provide the foodfor his family beside saving money to marry his daughter. A lot of hightemper feelings & emotions, you cant stop your eyes from falling.beside talking about the unjust of human beens in isolating a group ofinnocent people who their fault is that they are not born in completebodies, the white man in the story who is a doctor failed in themedicine job in his country and ran to India where he found his realsoul also show us how we sometimes see the world from one view while itcan be seen from a better view, I don't understand why it wasn'tdominated for an Oscar. excuse my English & thanks for reading my view.

Patrick Swayze is tormented doctor who wants to escape his past. Ultimately, he finds redemption in serving the poor in Calcutta.

By: chicago3-1
An good-hearted and inspiring film. Those with a taste for gritty film-noirs won't like it. Swayze is bit too picture-perfect, and the characters maybe 2-D, but I don't mind. I love Joffe's themes of redemption, self-sacrifice, and compassion in midst of a world of hate and cruelty. Be leery of critics who are too harsh on this movie. I especially love the portrayal of the Indian people. I gave it a 10 because I didn't like the fact that the IMDb average is weighted at 5.8. Some people have their own agenda: maybe they don't like Swayze, don't like Joffe, whatever. Don't trust these ratings and evaluate the movie according to your own values.

Is the story a moral tale about personal redemption? Is it about class struggles and therefore a political drama? For some, there may be an issue with incoherence. (I found that to be the case for the Killing Fields). I personally like who Joffe blends these subplots and themes, making a human drama that is relevant to the individual and society at the same time.

Art Movie

By: vcuty
this is an art movie it can enter international film festival competitions specially for Om pare acting in this movie ,to be nominated as best actor, photography Patrick Swazi acting was good though bit exaggerated in some scenes the tale really moved me and the weaving of the plot was well made the two kids did a very good acting, the supporting actors acted well,i wished the movie would last longer direction was excellent and in some parts it enabled the spectator to feel really involved in the action. the camera ,took real expressions ,and portrayed an ugly side in India,yet a beautiful one. its one movie ill always remember

Not like the book but a good story

By: abhi-9
The movie is not bad. It is based on the book by the same name by Dominique Lapierre, and if my understanding is right has the author's blessings. The characters even have similar if not same names but it is not the same story. However it is true to the spirit in which the book was written.

Another interesting comparison with the book is that just like the movie, the book is as controversial, especially in India and among middle class Indians and Indians abroad. Indians do not like to speak about their slums to foreigners and do not like foreigners to speak about them by themselves. Rich and middle-class Indians who make about one-fourth of the country are the most influential people in the country and make the interlocutors with the Western world. I know because I am one of them. If our country is our home, this is a skeleton in our closet. And because there is a skeleton in our closet, we try not to step into it and do not let other and hate those who do step in when we are not looking. The controversy is an indication that lot stuff in the movie is actually worth seeing.

Also it is not unusual for a poor man in India to choose to die with dignity than live in shame, Indian girls do flirt even if it is 'untraditional' and there are people who try to live by exploiting the poor, people who most others will call cruel.

The movie could have done a better job capturing the fact that western ideas can affect the way some people in India behave just as Indian ideas make some westerners reformulate their ideas and concepts about life. We can see it here, but this is better captured in the book

So those who do not like the movie try to read the book and those who liked the movie will definitely enjoy the book. As for me, stories of the resilience of Indian slum dwellers only make me more proud to be an Indian.
By: (82abhi@gmail.com)
The movie is not bad. It is based on the book by the same name byDominique Lapierre, and if my understanding is right has the author'sblessings. The characters even have similar if not same names but it isnot the same story. However it is true to the spirit in which the bookwas written.

Another interesting comparison with the book is that just like themovie, the book is as controversial, especially in India and amongmiddle class Indians and Indians abroad. Indians do not like to speakabout their slums to foreigners and do not like foreigners to speakabout them by themselves. Rich and middle-class Indians who make aboutone-fourth of the country are the most influential people in thecountry and make the interlocutors with the Western world. I knowbecause I am one of them. If our country is our home, this is askeleton in our closet. And because there is a skeleton in our closet,we try not to step into it and do not let other and hate those who dostep in when we are not looking. The controversy is an indication thatlot stuff in the movie is actually worth seeing.

Also it is not unusual for a poor man in India to choose to die withdignity than live in shame, Indian girls do flirt even if it is'untraditional' and there are people who try to live by exploiting thepoor, people who most others will call cruel.

The movie could have done a better job capturing the fact that westernideas can affect the way some people in India behave just as Indianideas make some westerners reformulate their ideas and concepts aboutlife. We can see it here, but this is better captured in the book

So those who do not like the movie try to read the book and those wholiked the movie will definitely enjoy the book. As for me, stories ofthe resilience of Indian slum dwellers only make me more proud to be anIndian.

Uplifting and touching tale set among Calcutta's untouchables

By: roghache
It's been over a decade since I saw this movie, but despite a lot of criticism it seems to be receiving, I remember how much it touched me way back then.

The story revolves around a disillusioned young American doctor, Max Lowe (played by Patrick Swayze), who goes to India to find himself. He encounters a nun who is trying to set up a free clinic among Calcutta's untouchables, and becomes unable to resist helping her in her struggles. To be honest, I hardly remember Patrick Swayze's role from this movie. I had forgotten he was even in it, and normally associate him with Ghost or Dirty Dancing. I assume he was adequate in the part, as I don't remember otherwise. A reviewer complained he used a lot of profanity, and if so, that would definitely not have been to my liking. I certainly didn't get the impression at the time that they were trying to portray Swayze's character as another Mother Theresa. Frankly, I don't remember the nun either.

The Westerners didn't leave any lasting impression on me. For me, the film was all about the depiction of life among these poorest of the poor, the people to whom the late Mother Theresa devoted her life. Whether portrayed realistically or not, the movie at least elicits viewer awareness of their plight, their poverty and oppression. I recall the squalid living conditions worsened by the monsoons, but also the spirit of some of these so called untouchables.

However, the most memorable aspect of the movie, which has remained with me all these years, is the absolutely endearing Indian farmer, Hasari Pal (played by Om Puri), who has lost his farm and come to Calcutta with his wife and children in order to seek work. Despite his poverty, it is clear that he desires for his family the same basic happiness Westerners want for their own. The relationship he has with his wife is beautiful, as well as with his older daughter, who is having her own romance. (No, not the more realistic arranged marriage, as another commented.) Hasari is truly an unforgettable character that came to embody for me the spirit of India's less fortunate.

This is a movie that calls attention to some of the important truths in life, the overwhelming disparity between rich and poor, and especially the humanity common to us all. Perhaps it's not absolutely true to the culture (dowry etc.) of India, but I fear that some reviewers are, nevertheless, way too hard on it. Suffice it to say, I left the theatre in 1992 feeling uplifted and with food for thought.
By: Sune-Denmark
I don't know, if you have to have been in India to really appreciatethis movie. It has flaws, but I think it is noticeable to see that theonly person from India writing here, actually points out the up-sidesto it.

By professional movie critics, it was very well received. And in myopinion, justifiably so. The movie brings up, many interestingsubjects. One can discuss how well it deals with them, but if you'reopen towards the movie, it might bring you a very good real-lifeexperience.

If this movie, has got you interested in more genuine Indian films,then movies such as Monsoon Wedding, and Lagaan, can be recommended.

Passable, but thanks only to the Indian cast.

By: a_humble_movie_lover
Having been born and brought up in 'the City of Joy' and living in the western world for the last 5 years, I have mixed feelings about this movie. The locales (VERY much of Calcutta- the by-lanes, the rickshaws, tea stalls, colleges, streets- all of them) give it a sense of realism, but I'd have to say that the movie does get too preachy. The hero does save the day in the end, but well, this is not the Calcutta one relates to. It is the centre for art, culture, music, drama, books, literature- and the now-made-famous-by-Late Mother Teresa's work, the outskirts of Calcutta. Cinematically, the movie does get dragging at times and one starts questioning the motive of the director Roland Joffe (sympathy or point blank nakedness? Trying to make people aware of hit them at weak points to arouse interest?) but it is a passable "entertainer", strictly due to the wonderful work by the Indian cast, especially the great Om Puri as Hazari. Could have been a great one if it followed the book a little closer.

A touching movie

By: benurahul
I appreciated the movie a lot. I also agree with MRP41082 (estrago11@aol.com) in that it is unfair to portray India in this light so often, and the brighter side should be projected just as much. But the magnitude of the issues shown in the movie, and the fact that they stand larger than all our achievements, belittle the strides we have made so far. Despite portraying the heinous life of a laborer in India and the atrocities flung on the poor, at a visual level, there is a message in the movie at a spiritual level - that no matter what we are, where we belong, we love the people we love, and we hope for our children, and that we have the power to do anything. I feel the movie goes a long way in showing that perhaps the people there are dying of hunger, are shut in darkness for lack of exposure, yet they could rise and shine! I'd say, it almost puts us Indians on a pedestal.

Excellent Story - Uplifting Movie!

By: reblit
City of Joy is the story of an American Doctor (Patrick Swayze) who runs away from his life and unwittingly lands himself in an entirely different place. Through various actions he ends up helping a woman (Pauline Collins) who tries to help the very poor of Calcutta on a day-to-day basis. City of Joy also contains a story of a farmer (Om Puri) who has lost his farm to the "money lenders" and brings his family to Calcutta to find work so that he can support his family. How all these lives interact is interesting. The poverty and oppression is devastating to see - but worth watching. The story touches your heart and holds your interest throughout the movie.

Patrick Swayze is wonderful in this movie! He is expansive and portrays all of his emotions - anger, frustration, love of friends and joy poignantly! Dirty Dancing, Ghost and City of Joy should have mad Patrick Swayze a serious leading man in the category of Harrison Ford. In later movies you can see his emotions but it is as if the are locked inside his handsome clenched jaws. Nevertheless, Patrick Swayze is a handsome accomplished actor and this film is well worth the watch!