All four films for $30
James Ivory, 1965, 120 mins, F
“Shakespeare Wallah is a tribute to the gallantry, talent and courage of the Kendals.” — Los Angeles Times
Film fans will adore this Merchant Ivory Productions classic that provides a poignant view of post-colonial India and the rise of the budding film industry – and the inspiration for our film series.
A fictionalized account of the life of actor-manager Geoffrey Kendal (who stars) and his family, the film investigates this transitional point in India’s arts-and-culture history through the eyes of English actors as they perform Shakespeare to dwindling crowds. Shashi Kapoor, a legendary member of Bollywood royalty, plays a wealthy young playboy who has an affair with one of the troupe’s members (Felicity Kendal), to the dismay of her parents.
The clash of traditional theatre and Bollywood marks the perfect jumping-off point for an examination of the timelessness of Shakespeare’s work, which helps frame work both traditional and contemporary.