The shots of urban traffic jams have more spark than the story, which skips from a pregnancy to the filming of a musical to murder - without convincing us of any of it.
Owen Gleiberman - Entertainment Weekly
Life is suffering, as the Buddha said (including in Hardy's emotionally grinding novels), but it's more complex and contradictory than the ginned-up realism Mr. Winterbottom delivers here.
Manohla Dargis - New York Times
A rare unsatisfying swerve from an otherwise reliably provocative career.
Ann Hornaday - Washington Post
"Trishna" should move the soul and engage the tear-ducts, yet it passes by as distant as it is lovely. And the blame must fall on the movie's star, Freida Pinto.
Ty Burr - Boston Globe
The film's exploration of extremes coexisting uneasily is especially palpable in a subplot involving Mumbai's film industry.
Karina Longworth - Village Voice
Spectacular visually, though awfully somber dramatically.
Joe Morgenstern - Wall Street Journal
Trishna engages the potent collisions of the rural and the urban, the poor and the rich, and considers how these interactions unfold in a romance and how they might also destroy it.
Lisa Kennedy - Denver Post
Winterbottom is a director who never repeats himself, films all over the world, and in "Trishna," effortlessly embeds his story in modern India.
Roger Ebert - Chicago Sun-Times
The new setting revivifies the harsh forces of class and gender at work in the story.
J. R. Jones - Chicago Reader
While the film never delves deep enough into its characters' emotions to be truly spellbinding, it's well worth seeing.
Colin Covert - Minneapolis Star Tribune
Winterbottom has complete control of the film's look and feel, but the story seems to run away from him.
Tom Long - Detroit News
Pinto's lack of dramatic range (she basically has two expressions) and an awkward third act do not provide a solid foundation for Hardy's tragic ending.
Lou Lumenick - New York Post
This escalation of passions and Trishna's humiliation demands much of both actors, yet neither Pinto nor Ahmed is completely convincing and this is the main flaw of Trishna.
Linda Barnard - Toronto Star
A loose but nonetheless pretty faithful recasting of Hardy's penultimate tragedy, Tess of the d'Urbervilles.
James Adams - Globe and Mail
This is one of the best and bravest of recent adaptations of classic literature; if you're even a little bit intrigued, ignore what others say and don't let it pass you by.
Andrew O'Hehir - Salon.com
As a portrait of a nation amid accelerated and profound change, "Trishna" is a vivid piece of cinema. As a melodrama, it's provocative without being emotionally involving, the central performance more distancing than engaging.
Sheri Linden - Los Angeles Times
Unfocused and easily forgettable, this drama shows that even a likable actress can't carry a movie that undervalues its characters.
John Hanlon - Big Hollywood
Trishna is an admirable effort, but it's too detached and disinterested in the viewer to make an impact. This is a tough film to get through, and even if one makes it to the end, there's little reward to be found.
Jonathan Lack - We Got This Covered
An intriguing addition to the work of an erratic but always interesting filmmaker.
Frank Swietek - One Guy's Opinion
Hit the books instead.
Grae Drake - Movies.com
Things start off promising, but, by the time the final reel rolls, Winterbottom's too-detached style seems to be willfully wallowing in oversimplified misery.
Jeff Meyers - Metro Times (Detroit, MI)
Winterbottom's socially conscious, contemporary adaptation of Thomas Hardy's novel Tess of the d'Urbervilles is first-rate.
Kelly Vance - East Bay Express
Freida Pinto is a goddess among us, but this set-in-India version of Tess of the D'Ubervilles is just so-so.
Clint O'Connor - Cleveland Plain Dealer
...Winterbottom's most gorgeous film to date.
Chris Barsanti - PopMatters
Freida Pinto is so incredibly pretty in "Trishna." And so incredibly boring.
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul) - St. Paul Pioneer Press
It's an ambitious and evocative effort derailed in part by a passive lead performance that keeps the material at an emotional distance.
Todd Jorgenson - Cinemalogue.com
Pinto's piercingly expressive eyes tell the whole story--the excitement of not only first love but the new, and that innocent hope and romantic idealism slowly, inevitably bled dry.
Michael Dequina - TheMovieReport.com
Rather than a strong script, Winterbottom relies on a hyperactive camera, as if he were trying to recreate an updated dramatic classic by way of a music video.
Kimberly Gadette - Doddle
"Trishna" works largely on the strength of Winterbottom's clever updates of a century-old story.
Rafer Guzman - Newsday
A nice inversion of the star-cross'd lovers trope.
Eugene Novikov - Film Blather
Winterbottom gives a bright panorama of Indian life, from the agrarian countryside to the tumult of Jaipur and the sophistication of Mumbai.
Mick LaSalle - San Francisco Chronicle
The performers seem apathetic about their fates, and the tragedy unfolds with a perfunctory arbitrariness.
Peter Keough - Boston Phoenix
The relationship between Trishna and Jay never rings as true as it needs to for the downbeat third act to resonate the way it was presumably intended to do.
Marc Mohan - Oregonian
Featuring a Bollywood subplot and an irresistible East-meets-West score, the movie is lush and lusty: both a strong vehicle for Pinto and a good match for Winterbottom's impressionistic style.
John Hartl - Seattle Times
Trishna rewards with its observational qualities, while promoting Pinto as an actress worth paying attention to.
Brian Orndorf - BrianOrndorf.com
The sort of vivid portrait deliberately avoided by the dopey tourist grazing of stuff like The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.
Matt Pais - RedEye
The film's final silliness casts a pall over all of its previous successes.
David Ehrlich - Boxoffice Magazine
Winterbottom uses the Indian locations with a documentarian's eye and a dramatist's mind.
Peter Rainer - Christian Science Monitor
... an innovative viewpoint for remaking the story and the exotic settings are stunning to look at, but the character of Jay as interpreted is problematic as is the last act.
Laura Clifford - Reeling Reviews
Not wasting any time, Michael Winterbottom hurls Thomas Hardy's 1891 novel into the 21st century ... He's indebted to, but not weighed down, by the literary classic
Kent Turner - Film-Forward.com
A dry, inert, frustrating, and boring experience, more detours than drama.
Jeffrey M. Anderson - Common Sense Media
Pinto, stoic and stunning, demonstrates why this heroine and this tale of her woe still have power more than 150 years after it was written.
dismal and unconvincing
Jay Antani - Paste Magazine
Gorgeously shot and acted with aching tragic truthfulness, Michael Winterbottom's film is a romance of depth and feeling.
Marshall Fine - Hollywood & Fine
A robust and poignant screen adaptation of Thomas Hardy's Tess of the d'Urbervilles reset in India.
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat - Spirituality and Practice
Trishna is in love with India without romanticizing it.
Alison Willmore - AV Club
Deodorized and sanitized but memorably filmed and scored, 'Trishna' is less fully satisfactory in capturing the clutching crush and implication of the subcontinent's megacities.
Donald J. Levit - ReelTalk Movie Reviews
Something in Hardy's tragic inclinations obviously appeals to Winterbottom; this is the third time he's adapted one of the author's novels, with the liberties he takes with the source material increasing each time.
Ian Buckwalter - NPR
By combining the characters of Lord d'Urberville and Angel Clare into one person -- spoiled rich boy Jay (Riz Ahmed, Four Lions) -- Winterbottom strips the tale of a compelling second act, making things sag terribly in the middle.
Some of it sticks and some of it doesn't. But almost always, [Winterbottom] gives us something worth looking at.
Stephanie Zacharek - Movieline
Imaginative, evocative adaptation of a classic Victorian novel is fresh and compelling, with Freida Pinto delivering a moving performance as the tragic heroine.
Rex Roberts - Film Journal International
The diffidence here is ingrained in the pacing and plot: Winterbottom hardly seems roused by the forbidden affair, and even a Bollywood-style dance number feels halfhearted.
Joshua Rothkopf - Time Out
Very loosely based on Thomas Hardy's Tess of the D'Urbervilles, versatile British director Michael Winterbottom (Jude; A Mighty Heart; The Trip) brings an affecting naturalism to his tragic tale of love and abuse.
Jim Schembri - 3AW
The result is a film that is intoxicating, emotional and exhausting.
Rebecca Barry - Flicks.co.nz
Pinto and Ahmed are not the most gifted of actors, their lack of screen chemistry actually fits their eternally disconnected characters curiously well.
Leigh Paatsch - Herald Sun (Australia)
The film works because the social constraints that affected Tess seem to be still current even in today's rapidly changing India.
David Stratton - At the Movies (Australia)
Watching it unwind is one of Trishna's great pleasures.
Peter Galvin - sbs.com.au
There are times when Trishna feels like a Five Obstructions-esque experiment, such is the way in which Winterbottom has worked in his recurring motifs (stylistic and thematic). That's not necessarily a bad thing.
Simon Miraudo - Quickflix
Despite some typical visual flair, and an affecting soundtrack to boot, Trishna lacks the emotional punch of Hardy's novel, with Pinto and Ahmed's pairing feeling contrived.
Ed Gibbs - The Sun Herald
It feels contrived, even if that's not how the book reads
Andrew L. Urban - Urban Cinefile
Superbly made with a stunning lead performance by Freida Pinto... Trishna is a profoundly moving drama that vividly describes Indian culture and the consequences when privileges become confused
Louise Keller - Urban Cinefile
That Trishna does not quite amount to the sum of its parts is not as disappointing as it sounds, though one wishes the overall impact was as potent as key moments along its path.
Simon Foster - Screen-Space
Class privilege and sexual politics are inextricably linked in Michael Winterbottom's blunt, self-consciously brutal, and rather loose updating of Thomas Hardy's Tess of the D'Urbervilles.
Andrew Schenker - Slant Magazine
It's a very pretty looking thing (maybe a little too pretty) featuring strong performances from both leads.
Donald Clarke - Irish Times
On the one hand the original's complex texture is gravely weakened; on the other, the rambling narrative structure is transformed into a taut fable.
Philip French - Observer [UK]
By the end, the heavy-handed soundtrack turns Trishna into a musical about room service, as Frieda Pinto trots in and out with a tray and other offerings.
Kate Muir - Times [UK]
Classic tragic story is still classic, tragic when moved to the modern world... [S]tunning... in a way that is both magnificent and horrifying...
MaryAnn Johanson - Flick Filosopher
The shifting of Hardy's novel to modern day India is an inspired idea and the film is often beautiful to look at, but it's ultimately badly let down by a frustrating script, sluggish direction and yet another wooden performance from Freida Pinto.
Matthew Turner - ViewLondon
The issues of class privilege, inequality and masculine arrogance still resonate even if aspects of the novel have been twisted, misshapen and omitted on the way.
Allan Hunter - Daily Express
[A] shrewd but stand-offish reworking of Tess of the d'Urbervilles set in present-day India.
Robbie Collin - Daily Telegraph
Where Winterbottom takes us next is anyone's guess. We're slowly losing interest, though.
Adam Woodward - Little White Lies
With Shigeru Umebayashi's score and Amit Trivedi's songs proving as atmospheric as the ravishing cinematography, this is never less than compelling.
David Parkinson - Radio Times
Winterbottom has a gift for drawing natural performances from his stars.
Alex Zane - Sun Online
While texture and local atmosphere are all very well, I wish Winterbottom had speeded up the plot and delved deeper into the characters.
Christopher Tookey - Daily Mail [UK]
Winterbottom's location work in Jaipur and Mumbai has richness and spectacle, but somehow this does not come fully to life.
Brilliantly, Winterbottom takes the novel's two main male characters, Alec d'Urberville and Angel Clare, and makes them one.
Nigel Andrews - Financial Times
Transferring Victorian's England's inhumanely rigid class pecking order to the equally infexible inequalities of the Indian caste system works a treat.
Tim Evans - Sky Movies
It's absorbing, but both leads are out of their depth when the film moves on to darker themes.
Siobhan Synnot - Scotsman
Sails along on a gorgeous score by Shigeru Umebayashi and Bollywood composer Amit Trivedi.
Cath Clarke - Time Out
There's plenty to enjoy in the director's customary flourishes.
David Hughes - Empire Magazine
Some will balk at Pinto's passivity, but Trishna again shows Winterbottom to be one of the few directors today who are liberated, rather than constricted, by classic literature.
Neil Smith - Total Film
Jennie Kermode - Eye for Film
Putting aside some troubling aspects and a wonky pace, Trishna is a complex take on Hardy's novel.
A haunting exploration of emotional and financial dependence that leaves you wondering if anyone can truly be said to stand on their own two feet.
Charlotte O'Sullivan - This is London
As usual with Winterbottom's work, Trishna evokes its locations vividly; as a story with a tragic arc it's less effective.
David Gritten - Daily Telegraph