Jane Campion (Angel at my Table, The Piano, The Portrait of a Lady) is a director like no other; her films are a true treat as she enjoys sharing her cinematic images with her audience.
Her previous film heroines are often wilful, self-obsessed, or crazy, but the journey she takes them on to reach their final destination, even if it be to death, make her films well worth watching.
Holy Smoke is a touching film focusing on the main character Ruth Barron (Kate Winslet), an Australian, who went to India in search of an exotic, new life. The India scenery really adds to the films magical effect saturated with light and colour with in a world that encourages spiritual epiphany.
Her journey leads her into joining a "cult" where Ruth falls under the influence of a charismatic religious guru.
This builds the story up as her family are extremely worried about her knew religious following. Her family though is hilariously dysfunctional, and very down to earth, making Ruth seem worlds apart from them.
They hire an American macho cult de-programmer PJ Waters (Harvey Keitel) who confronts her in a remote desert hideaway to "cure" her back to her normal character.
PJ Waters has finally met his match though with Ruth, as his quest turns into a battle of the sexes. Her strong willed bold personality and intelligent flare along with her attractive charm give PJ Waters a challenge he never expected.
Their wild, erotic, and funny ride towards individualism makes the film something else. Enjoyable for the eyes and the mind, with extremely good acting the scenes produced really do come alive, making it well worth watching.