A Throw Of Dice review

This silent Indian melodrama offers proof positive that America didn’t have the monopoly on epic cinema in the ‘20s. A precursor to modern Bollywood lensed in Rajasthan, it boasts over 10,000 extras, not to mention a menagerie of elephants, tigers and snakes. Inspired by an episode of Hindu legend Mahabharata, it’s the saga of two neighbouring kings – Sohat (Himansu Rai) and Ranjit (Charu Roy) – who fall for the same woman, hermit’s daughter Sunita (Seeta Devi). Directed by Germany’s Franz Osten, this digitally restored version’s worth catching for the spectacular monochrome photography plus Nitin Sawhney’s new hybrid score, a full orchestral complement to the characters’ life-or-death adventures.

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