British Film Festival Review: Romantic Road

This Sharon Stone produced documentary follows an eccentric English couple as they drive their 1930s Rolls Royce across north India.

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Lawyer and English eccentric Rupert Grey, and his wife Jan Grey are a couple in their late 60s. Once hashish smoking hippies, they still retain the sense of adventure that first drew them to each other. When Rupert decides he wants to drive the family’s heirloom 1930s Rolls Royce across north India, and into Bangladesh, Jan complies and sets off with him.

Sharon Stone has produced this charming, meandering documentary. Following Rupert and Jan across some of the areas of India rarely seen by tourists, director Oliver McGarvey is spoiled for cinematographic choice. But this is far from being just another travelogue. The Grey’s journey speaks of family history (Rupert’s father served in India in the 1940s), an alternative view of ageing, and the strength of an incredible love between two people.

Their final destination is Dhaka where they want to attend Chobi Mela, a major international photographic conference, based around the power of image to effect social and political change.

Including interviews with locals, friends and the Grey’s adult daughters, this is a feature that is hard to categorize, yet impossible to ignore. At times it is deeply philosophical, at others gently charming. It is a road-trip documentary that pushes the boundaries of the genre.

Romantic Road currently screens as part of the MINI British Film Festival at PalaceNova Eastend and Prospect.

Click here for screening times.

FASCINATING 4 stars

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