You’ve arrived somewhere, Freida Pinto, when you’re invited to Cannes to waft up that incredible red carpet, arms linked with the likes of Woody Allen, Anthony Hopkins, Antonio Banderas, Naomi Watts, Gemma Jones, Anupam Kher — and you don’t show!
You’re in the Ridley Scott league who went missing for his “Robin Hood,” which opened the 63rd fest here. But he broke a leg. You simply had something better to do, something you couldn’t break. A shooting date. Great, for our great little miss from Malad!
Being cast at all by the fussy Woody Allen, in a setting a-glitter with names is an achievement on its own. But Pinto topped that one. She looked good and did better in a role that had “support” written all over it. They are the most difficult to do. By the way, she doesn’t kiss, kiss on camera. Peace, Indian censors!
The film is “You will meet a tall dark stranger,” typical Allen whimsy: “a little romance, some sex, some treachery,” as he put it at the press conference, a wonderful performance by itself. His drollery affected all the other actors on the panel. We’re going to see a much altered Freida soon. The film opens with “When you wish upon a star” from Walt Disney’s Pinocchio of the 1930s and that’s the way it goes. The hinge is the soothsaying of a phony mystic and the feeling you are left with is that, just may be, that's the happy way to go.
Audiences were enraptured last night with Luchino Visconti’s Il Gattopardo (The Leopard, 1963) in the “Cannes Classics” section. It’s the time of Garibaldi in Italy. Sumptuous sets and costumes to say nothing of a no less sumptuous cast: Burt Lancaster, Claudia Cardinale and Alain Delon.
Mention of the section must be made because, in the same festival corner this evening, we shall be fast re-wound 27 years to Mrinal Sen’s Kandahar.