The River (Renoir, 1951)

The River (Jean Renoir, 1951)

Jean Renoir is generally heralded as one of the greatest directors of all time. I haven’t seen a lot from him, but from what I have seen, nothing has been outstanding. Unfortunately, The River does nothing to help this opinion. This is actually the worst I have seen from him. I’ll give it credit for being decently shot, though considering the film’s India setting, I can’t believe it wasn’t more beautiful than it was. There were a few great montages, where scenic India and river are nicely presented. But they are nearly ruined by the terrible narration that overpowers the images. In fact, the narration exists throughout the entire film, and it never is good. Couple that with the ridiculous and unbelievably mature dialogue coming out of the mouths of adolescent girls and you have a terrible screenplay. Some of the ideas about adolescent ‘love’ are interesting, but overall this is a failure.  4.75/10

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