In Custody (1994)
A Film by Ismail Merchant
DVD9 | ISO+MDS | NTSC 4:3 | 02:04:21 | 7,07 Gb
Audio: Urdu-Hindi AC3 2.0 @ 192 Kbps | Subs: English hardcoded
Genre: Comedy, Drama | The Criterion Collection
Based on the Booker Prize–nominated novel by Anita Desai, In Custody, the debut of Ismail Merchant as a director, is a wry, lyrical, comic drama about contemporary Indian culture, society, and domestic life. The central themes are the threatened extinction of the Urdu language, much prized for its beauty, sophistication and its great literary tradition, and the story of two men pursuing their ideals against great odds. Nur (Shashi Kapoor) is considered the greatest living Urdu poet, and Deven (Om Puri) hopes to rekindle interest in the language by recording Nur reciting his magical verse. But multiple problems block Deven’s path, the greatest of these being the vastly bloated Nur, his love of drink, and his two shrewish wives. Deven’s monstrous task quickly turns into a cultural odyssey that follows a deeply ludicrous path to an unexpected and moving conclusion.