Critic’s Choice: Classic Indian silent film ‘Shiraz’ returns

A scene from the 1928 silent film “Shiraz: A Romance of India.”
(Juno Films)
Film Critic

If you missed the gorgeous 1928 silent extravaganza “Shiraz: A Romance of India” when it played in Los Angeles in January, you are in luck. This landmark of Indian cinema and all-around epic of exoticism is back, but for one weekend only.

This sumptuous fictional reworking of the romantic origins of the Taj Mahal does not stint on scale. Blessed with a cast of literal thousands, not to mention camels, elephants and horses without number, this film is more than set in 17th century India, it transports you back to that time and place.

“Shiraz” benefits from a meticulous 2K restoration by the British Film Institute and a spectacular score composed by Anoushka Shankar and played by nine musicians (including the composer on sitar), which heightens every emotion and moment of tension.

Playing at the Ahrya Fine Arts, Beverly Hills, March 15, 7:30 p.m.; March 16, 4 p.m.; March 17, 1 p.m.; Laemmle Claremont 5, March 16-17, 10:40 a.m.; and Laemmle Playhouse 7, Pasadena, March 16-17, 11 a.m. Don’t let it get past you again.


Twitter: @KennethTuran