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‘The Least Of These – The Graham Staines Story’ Movie Review: Sharman Joshi & Stephen Baldwin come up with an engaging true story
Sharman Joshi, Stephen Baldwin, Shari Rigby, Manoj Mishra, Prakash Belawadi, Aditi Chengappa, Aneesh Daniel, Campbell Ellis, Emily Ellis, Isaac Ellis
Bollywood Bubble Rating
What It’s About
As the social fabric of life in rural India disintegrates in the late 1990s, journalist Manav Banerjee (Sharman Joshi) moves with his pregnant wife to the State of Orissa in hope of a better life and the promise of a lucrative career. When speculation mounts that local Australian missionary Graham Staines (Stephen Baldwin) is illegally proselytizing leprosy patients, Manav agrees to investigate undercover for the newspaper. What he finds is a series of revelations that are difficult to fathom and even harder to explain, and Manav is forced to make a choice between his own ambition and the truth. In the end, his actions spark a tragic event that is felt around the world. Based on a true story and shot on location in India.
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‘The Least Of These – The Graham Staines Story’ is a powerful and gripping story, to say the least. It talks of how one could find God’s hope in the midst of hopelessness. It’s a shame that a film as gripping and emersed in real-life incidences didn’t get a proper necessary release.
The film, based on actual events and shot on location in India, is a stirring story that illustrates hope, love and forgiveness. Stephen Baldwin as Graham Staines has done a commendable job about the man who made untold sacrifices to help out people suffering from leprosy in restricted areas. Staines was originally from Australia but India became his permanent home, and the way Stephen has showcased his life is really well-planned.
The story takes place in the 1990s, and there are governmental laws against Christians who would use incentives, as well as money, to make new converts. Reporter Manav Banerjee (Sharman Joshi) is employed by a local newspaper editor to sleuth on Staines and also to see if any misconduct can be exposed. In return for his services, the editor promises to help pay the bills for Manav’s wife’s pregnancy. She has also been hospitalised following the difficult delivery of their daughter.
Strongminded to strengthen his reporting desires, Manav repeatedly attempts to find Staines doing something unlawful. To his astonishment, he in its place sees a man who sweeps up a boy with leprosy into his arms in order to help him and who recurrently applies medical treatment to the browbeaten lepers. He continually shows them love, compassion and the correct way to lead a life. Staines actions continue to haunt Manav, particularly when Manav unintentionally stirs up a resident livid man who requests no conversions in the local communities. The local man is now certain that the ‘head of the snake’, which in this case is referred to Staines, must be ‘cut off.’
What Staines presented the so-called ‘worthless’ people, who were suffering from leprosy, was meaning and optimism to the despairing. This self-motivated film is sure to keep your interests piqued throughout.
The movie features some of the most remarkable cinematography that we’ve seen in recent times. The local landscapes of rural India can be portrayed so very beautifully is just truly unimaginable. To add to it, the soul-stirring background. Even though the movie contains a tragedy, which is possibly one of the biggest stains in India history from that decade, the movie actually offers some wonderful hope for the residents of the rural villages.
Considering it’s released on OTT, and there are hardly any good films coming out on OTT these days, this one surely stands out from the rest. It surely is moving in its content and could potentially be a huge money-spinner for the makers and the streaming platforms. I am going with 4 stars.
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