Metascore
71

Generally favorable reviews - based on 15 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 15
  2. Negative: 0 out of 15
  1. Even blood, spilled so freely, has a distinctive intensity of red in this beautiful and harrowing film.
  2. Both visually and emotionally, a panoramic picture; Mehta wields a master's hand as she weaves together vistas of urban and pastoral India with thoughts on the nature of man as it keeps cycling out in the specifics of history.
  3. An extraordinary movie on many levels.
  4. A remarkable accomplishment. It takes one of the century's vast tragedies...and makes it heart-rendingly real and intimate.
  5. Reviewed by: Gemma Files
    80
    Mehta's latest release, combines a similarly intoxicating visual immediacy and delight with a sobering outsider's long view.
  6. A powerful and disturbing reminder of how a civilization can suddenly crack under certain pressures.
  7. 75
    Told as a melodrama and romance, not docudrama, and that makes it all the more effective.
  8. It's a passionate, beautifully mounted film -- but the agenda she sets for herself is too large and the conflicts she portrays too complicated to be illustrated in a single drama.
  9. Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    75
    Hurls its Holocaust at us in a series of justifiably horrific images.
  10. Reviewed by: John Hartl
    70
    Gorgeous and troubling.
  11. Telling things through the eyes of a spoiled, precocious, troublemaking 8-year-old narrator is both an overdone device and not a particularly engaging one.
  12. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    60
    Sumptuous historical melodrama.
  13. 58
    A draggy affair livened occasionally by bursts of color or raw emotion, but just as often convoluted and hackneyed. It's a case of a film taking on, admirably, more than it can chew.
  14. 50
    Unfortunately the allegory tends to overpower the characterizations even as it deepens them.
  15. 40
    Mehta feels compelled to twist the screw, shamelessly plying her audience with mawkish tropes wearing the garb of "innocence."

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