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:
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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