In the year of our Lord, 2000, Kate Winslet and Harvey Keitel made a movie. Maybe you haven’t noticed this, but it seems whenever I have some burning question in my heart, maybe I’ve been carrying it about for some time, I can reach out, and pick a book up from one of my many overflowing shelves, open it, and my eyes will move as if by magic, to one particular part of the page, and there in full view, is my answer. It simply can’t be explained.
That is the story with this movie, Holy Smoke. For some time, I have been floundering about, like the proverbial fish. After watching this movie, it is clear that indeed, I may never find my way home, wherever that may be… perhaps it really is time to quit chasing something “out there,” and look to myself.
Put Harvey Keitel and Kate Winslet in a movie, in Australia, and India, with ashrams and the unforgiving Outback, and let me just say, “interesting” doesn’t begin to cover it.
This isn’t one of those deeply gratifying movies that gives you great insight. I think it proved more worthy to me for its blatant shock value! Imagine Harvey Keitel in red lipstick and a red dress! Now that was an image I could have done without!
But then I love Kate Winslet, not as a Hollywood starlet, although she puts all others to shame, but for being a great artist. Ms. Winslet has an amazingly beautiful voice. And I’ve only been exposed to it a couple of times, but I surely do intend to see what her singing is all about, and I’m eager.
Harvey is paid a hefty sum to come to Oz and deliver Kate from her “cult conditioning” after she joins a group of Hindu followers of a fellow called Baba who apparently elicits spiritual marriages from his followers. Indeed her own family, although loveable characters, I suppose, are completely daft and completely over the bridge, if you get my drift… dad, mum, the whole clan is quite the spectacle.
Harvey’s modus operandi is to break her down, take away all her faith, and deliver her back to the real world and her family. She does love her mum, but beyond that, I’d run to the nearest ashram myself! What he didn’t figure on was catching a real live tiger by the tail, and by the end, he’s totally undone. And if it wasn’t supposed to be serious, I’d have been LMAO, as they say… sorry, Harvey, but I’m just telling it like it is….
So the movie review goes like this: Highly entertaining, very visual, great characters, and sweet, just sweet, actually. I believe if they had made the same movie in this decade, it might have been something quite different. I wouldn’t want my kids to see this one, just too raw and a little “between the lines.” But for the great actors, and interesting premise, I give it a strong 4 on the 1-5 scale. If you enjoy Kate and Harvey, give it a go… by all means…