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Eternity

Noblesse oblige creates problems for royal matrimony in "Eternity," an opulent but dull period pic set in the Malla kingdom of 10th century India. Devoid of the Bollywood musical flourishes and betraying its legit origins, film is most notable for lavish art direction by Nitin Desai which auds of aptly titled pic will have ample time to admire.

With:
With: Anant Nag, Sonali Bendre, Deepti Naval.

Noblesse oblige creates problems for royal matrimony in “Eternity,” an opulent but dull period pic set in the Malla kingdom of 10th century India. Devoid of the Bollywood musical flourishes and betraying its legit origins, film is most notable for lavish art direction by Nitin Desai (“Devdas,” “Monsoon Wedding”) which auds of aptly titled pic will have ample time to admire.

Chanting members of the Senate endorse niyog, a rite requiring the queen (Sonali Bendre) to take a temporary lover due to the impotence of the king (Anant Nag). Separated for seven days, the monarchs agonize over the need for an heir and confide in servant Mahattarike (Deepti Naval). When the queen returns invigorated by her enforced (and unseen) copulation, tension finally spikes, but by then most auds will already be snoozing their way to nirvana. Performances are breathlessly melodramatic, and the sparing use of traditional music creates elongated silences which reinforce the tedium. Quality lensing highlights the sumptuous sets and costumes. At screening caught, pic played without its built-in intermission.

Eternity

India

Production: A Saarth production. (International sales: Mimesis, Palo Alto, Calif.) Produced by Amol Palekar, Rohit Sharma. Directed by Amol Palekar. Screenplay, Sameer Kulkarni, Sandhya Gokhale, inspired by Surendra Verma's play "Surya ki antim kiren se, surya ki pehli kiran tak."

Crew: Camera (color), Debu Deodhar; editor, Zafa Sultan; music, Gokhale; production designer, Gokhale; art director, Nitin Desai. Reviewed at Pusan Film Festival (Open Cinema), Oct. 6, 2003. Running time: 86 MIN.

With: With: Anant Nag, Sonali Bendre, Deepti Naval.

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