Romantic Road film chronicles 8000 miles across India in a ’30s Rolls-Royce

WORDS: elliott hughes | PHOTOGRAPHY: romantic road

Romantic Road is a travelogue film that chronicles the 8000-mile, six-month odyssey undertaken by an older upper-class English couple across the Indian sub-continent in a battered 1936 Rolls-Royce. 

The protagonists of Romantic Road are Rupert Grey, a lawyer and descendant of 19th century Prime Minister Earl Grey, and his wife, Jan. The film’s appeal stems from the duality of Rupert’s identity as an establishment figure with rebellious, hippie tendencies, and Jan’s reasoned and tempered influence. 

The retired couple nurse their pre-war car through the attrition of the Himalayas, attend a photography festival in Bangladesh, and even get involved in a Bollywood film in which Rupert is cast as a tyrannical British coloniser, much to his discomfort. 

Rupert and Jan also become acquainted with a diverse array of people along the way, interacting with chai wallahs, maharajas and over-zealous border officials. 

While the geographical endpoint for the couple’s journey is a human-rights festival in Bangladesh, Rupert yearns for the journey to conclude with something more ethereal; a spiritual reconnection with his late father, the original owner of the Greys’ faithful Rolls. 

More information on Romantic Road can be found on the official website. The film was released on October 8 and is showing specially chosen UK theatres, including: 

ZEFFIRELLIS Ambleside [ Oct 8th 20:30 ] [ ongoing ]

KINOKULTURE Shropshire [ Oct 13 19:30 ] [ Oct 14 19:30 ]

ARTS PICTUREHOUSE Cambridge [ Oct 15th ] [ ongoing ]

ILKLEY CINEMA [Oct 15th 11:30 ] [ Oct 18th 17:30 ] [Oct 20 13:30 ] [ Oct 21st 14:00 ]

CINEMA CITY NORWICH PICTUREHOUSE [ Oct 8th 10:20 & 12:20 ] [ Oct 11th 10:15 & 16:30 ] [ ongoing ]

KESWICK ALHAMBRA CINEMA [ Oct 29th ] [ Nov 5th ]

LIGHTHOUSE POOLE CINEMA [ Nov 6th ] [ Nov 9th ]

CORN EXCHANGE NEWBURY [ Nov 5th ] [ Nov 6th ] [ Nov 10th ] [Nov 11th]

PLYMOUTH ARTS CINEMA [ Nov 26 ]

NO.6 CINEMA Portsmouth [ Dec 9th ]

More screenings are constantly being added to the list, while Romantic Road will be available on DVD and via streaming services in early 2022.

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