The Warrior review

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Based on Japanese folklore, British writer-director Asif Kapadia's arresting, assured debut is epic in scale, tackling themes of honour, spirituality and morality. Even better, it's all packed into just an hour and a half.

Warrior leader Lafcadia (Irfran Khan) serves an oppressive lord in the desert of Rajasthan, India. Then a mystical encounter prompts him to renounce violence and he flees with his son to the Himalayas - with the direst consequences.

Using striking landscapes that cry out to be splayed across a 40-foot screen, Kapadia further enhances his visuals by manipulating colour, light and weather conditions. The result is a film where every frame could be hung on a gallery wall, beautiful in its own right.

Kapadia directs with maturity, fully trusting his material and feeling no need to rush it along. Instead we're treated to sparse dialogue and lingering shots, and actors who are given time to deliver powerful, organic performances that owe nothing to the editing suite. The movie is doubly compelling because of it.

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