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Lovers, The

Lovers, The (2013) Movie Poster
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  •  Belgium / India / Australia  •    •  109m  •    •  Directed by: Roland Joffé.  •  Starring: Josh Hartnett, Bipasha Basu, Tamsin Egerton, James Mackay, Alice Englert, Simone Kessell, Abhay Deol, Aegina De Vas, Andrea Deck, Matthew Beard, Bille Brown, Steve Nicolson, Vijay Thombre.  •  Music by: Dirk Brossé.
       Great Barrier Reef, 2020. After a dangerous dive to save his wife Laura trapped while exploring an colonial British merchant ship wreckage, Jay Fennel, a rugged and attractive marine archeologist lies brain dead in a Boston hospital. Fennel's dream-like coma takes us back in time to Pune, India in 1778. The British East India Company is invading the palaces and a young captain named James Stewart, who bears a striking resemblance to Fennel, is about to embark on a dangerous mission. Along the way he encounters murder, deceit, betrayal and revenge. He falls deeply in love with an Indian She-warrior named Tulaja, an impossible love which he must fight for. Only the power of a ring can transcend time and save a life.


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Image from: Lovers, The (2013)
Image from: Lovers, The (2013)
Image from: Lovers, The (2013)
Image from: Lovers, The (2013)
Image from: Lovers, The (2013)
First of all this film was beautifully done, it deserves the stars given. The music, the cinematography, and the acting were all done well (aside from a few minor and unnecessary scenes by supporting roles).The main disappointment with the story was the past and present coming together in a more fluid and fulfilling fashion. This is where the entire film seems to fault and lose a good deal of satisfaction.

The story involves lovers in the past and lovers in the future. In the past the lovers only share a brief time together amidst much conflict. Their fate seems to be sealed from the beginning by visions of betrayal, death and a unique set of rings that intertwine into one ring. Many issues with the story arise in the transition of past to present and the meaning of the rings. Some questions seem to go unanswered if not viewed carefully.

Having read some reviews it seems viewers overlook important details due to rapid scene changes and a constant search for significance. For example, it's easy to completely miss the explanation of how one half of the ring comes to rest at the bottom of the ocean in a metal snap purse with the initials D.E. engraved on it. The answer is actually mid story. The character named Dolly, played by Alice Englert, actually holds the purse in her hands while the camera quickly closes in for a brief closeup. There are the initials and the one hint that gets sadly overlooked because it seems unimportant at the time. But this hint is crucial for understanding how half of the ring is discovered in the future.

There is also a bit of confusion regarding the rings. Initially they seem to relate to love that cannot be fulfilled due to the cursed nature of the visions shared by Tulaja, the lover from the past who is played by Bipasha Basu. At first the rings seem to betray the lovers. Later in the story the combined rings seem to bring good fortune due to their mystical powers which are never clearly explained. Granted in the end it seems the rings symbolize the complexity of love, at times difficult, binding and powerful. But the problem for most viewers may not be in the rings themselves or their meaning. The greatest conflict within the story seems to surround the fact that the characters played by Josh Hartnett both in the past and future don't end up loving the same woman.

If the lovers were the same people throughout the entire time line the film may have received a better reception. As another reviewer mentioned, The Fountain (starring Hugh Jackman and Rachel Weisz), also explored a love across time. This story had a sense of closure and satisfaction because the lovers were the same in the past, present and future. The characters in that film came full circle. In The Lovers, they sadly do not reunite the way most wish them to. The female lover from the past appears in the distant future in a recognizable form only to give the other half of the ring to another woman who is in love with the possibly reincarnated version of her past lover. This creates a considerable amount of conflict. It leaves one wondering why one lover finds happiness and the other can't. Will he one day bring half of a ring to her future reincarnation to allow her the same happiness with another? One will never know. It's a very unselfish interpretation of love, which is why most people won't enjoy that outcome. Everyone wants the two lovers from the past to find each other in the end. That apparently wasn't the point. It's not hard to imagine that the writer's intention was to express that love, which can transcend time, will wait its turn. It's just not as satisfying for the general public who are used to two hour films with happy endings. This story bends the rules but it's done lovingly. Although I was left wanting closure I appreciated the attention to quality and wouldn't regard it a bad film because it didn't end the way I wanted it to. It was also nice to see Harnett again.

Review by Carmen Vazquez from the Internet Movie Database.