The Country Where the River Ganges Flows | Chicago Reader

The Country Where the River Ganges Flows

A huge box-office success in India, this sprawling 1960 film aspires to epic sweep, and while it's engaging at times, it's also a bit full of itself. Raj Kapoor plays a saintly simpleton who assumes the best of people and consistently opposes violence; this Gandhi-like figure falls in with a gang of bandits and tries to persuade them to mend their ways. There are some rousing and touching moments and fine musical numbers that also advance the story, but director Radhu Karmakar's manipulative close-ups condescend to the viewer and blur the social message. 176 min.

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