A good story about decay and finding away to to turn your way around. An actress choosing between staying in India or going to England, a film actor choosing between fame on film & true happiness on stage, a troupe choosing between accepting people masses not liking shakespeare anymore or returning home with a FAILURE sign on 'em. Beautiful cinematography, which makes it quite vivid.
A very slight, very early Merchant Ivory film, Shakespeare Wallah is really more of a character study than the usual lush, picturesque films Merchant Ivory would later produce. That's not a bad thing, either. Felicity Kendal, in her first role, is extraordinary, full of emotion and charm. Just, the story and the technicalities are rough. But the actors are good enough to save it.
Shakespeare Wallah: Confronting the essential choice between a life spent in pursuit of Beauty and Truth, and a life content consumed in domestic comforts. Beautifully directed by Sir James Ivory (each shot is elegantly framed), well-acted (supporting cast does particularly well), sonically excellent (composed by the great Satyajit Ray) and written without any hint of superfluity; a very good film.