The Warrior (12)
Time Out saysNW India, ages ago. Sent by his warlord boss to punish a village defaulting on tithes, warrior Lafcadia (Khan) finds himself unable to slay a young girl after noticing his son's pendant around her neck. But the tyrant won't tolerate deserters: when Lafcadia, laying aside his sword, tries to leave for his native village in the Himalayas, his former second-in-command, Biswas, captures and kills his son. Devastated, he continues his journey into the wilderness, meeting various loners as he goes, while Biswas follows in bloody pursuit. If some of the above sounds familiar, that's because the plot of Kapadia's fine feature debut echoes The Outlaw Josey Wales and several Mann and Boetticher Westerns; stylistically, however, Kurosawa and Leone are reference points. In other words, this is basically a Western transposed to India, but the brazenly mythic tone aligns it less closely with Hollywood models than with more reflexive storytelling traditions. With its stark narrative simplicity, its timeless setting and cipher characters, the epic mode may not produce psychological complexity, but it does score in terms of scale, sweep and sheer panache.