February 14, 1992 at 05:00 AM EST

Autobiography of a Princess

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
Unrated
runtime
60 minutes
performer
Madhur Jaffrey, James Mason
director
James Ivory
distributor
Connoisseur Video
genre
Romance, Drama
We gave it a B+

Autobiography of a Princess, an hour-long, made-for-public-TV gem from the Merchant-Ivory filmmaking team (A Room With a View) brings a self-exiled Indian princess (Madhur Jaffrey) and her father’s ex-tutor (James Mason) together on the deceased king’s birthday. Sipping Darjeeling tea as they bemoan their fallen positions, the chirpy Jaffrey and slightly pained Mason are alternately jovial and mournful, moving from reverential happiness, through sadness and confusion, to a distinct vindictiveness. The spare plot and limited setting — Jaffrey’s London apartment — suits video’s dimensions well, and aside from the ungainly score, this drama of loss is unpretentious and gripping. B+

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