Blu-ray: For Fans Only
3.5 Stars out of 5
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List Price 24.95
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Release Date: June 21st, 2022
Movie Release Year: 2021
Release Country: United States
COLLAPSE INFO -

The Beatles and India

Review Date July 27th, 2022 by
Overview -

The Beatles And India showcases the time period when John, Paul, George, and Ringo lived in India, began their spiritual awakening, learned new instruments and created the White Album. There's nothing really new for avid Beatles fans here, but the story and documentary are done extremely well. The 1080p HD video and the DTS-HD 5.1 audio mix are both great given the source material. The extras add more interviews and tours of the place the band stayed. For Beatles Fans Only!

OVERALL
For Fans Only
  • TECH SPECS & RELEASE DETAILS
    Technical Specs: Blu-ray Disc
    Video Resolution/Codec: 1080p AVC/MPEG-4
    Length:94
    Release Country:United States
    Movie Studio: Abacus Media Rights
    Release Date: June 21st, 2022

Story Review Storyline: Our Reviewer's Take

3.5 Stars out of 5

It's no secret that at one point in time The Beatles and India enjoyed a strong relationship. In the documentary, The Beatles and India, journalist and filmmaker Ajoy Bose captures that short time when the world's most popular band shed light on India, a country that most people at the time knew nothing about. Even though that relationship become strained, it no doubt was a big part of music history and explored other religions, meditation, and music. There's nothing particularly new in this documentary, but the questions and answers The Beatles and India raise are nonetheless poignant.

George Harrison traveled to India in 1966 and met Ravi Shankar who taught him how to play the sitar. The sound of that particular beautiful instrument became synonymous with Harrison for a number of years and appeared on most of his songs shortly after their meeting. His creative side was reborn and thus a new sound for his bandmates - The Beatles.

Two short years later, all four Beatles went to India and lived with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi at his Ashram in Rishikesh in the Himalayas. While there, John, Paul, George, and Ringo studied transcendental meditation which led to their mutual respect and love of all things in the world. This created their White Album while in India.

The Beatles And India jumps around in their timeline which makes it a bit confusing, but its message stays true and Bose's pure joy in telling this story is infectious even in the not-so-savory segments that include Alexis Mardas, who infamously conned The Beatles and their Apple Music company. This led to the falling out with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who became a father figure to the four men after their friend Brian Epstein passed away. One thing is for sure though.

It didn't matter if the relationship between The Beatles and India got torn up because it still shed a light on India's culture and people and made the world better for it, which is what this documentary reveals. Those four musicians' impact on India and the globe was something else and is still talked about to this day. If it weren't for The Beatles, perhaps India might still be a mystery.

 

Vital Disc Stats: The Blu-ray
The Beatles and India sing their way to a single disc Blu-ray via MVD Visual. The sole disc is housed inside a hard, blue plastic case. There is no cardboard sleeve. The artwork features illustrated, trippy artwork of the Beatles. There is no digital code or insert. 

  • TECH SPECS & RELEASE DETAILS
    Technical Specs:
    Blu-ray Disc
    Video Resolution/Codec:
    1080p AVC/MPEG-4
    Length:94
    Release Country:United States
    Movie Studio: Abacus Media Rights
    Release Date: June 21st, 2022

Video Review

3.5 Stars out of 5

The Beatles And India come with a new 1080p HD transfer from MVD Visual. This is a documentary with mostly archival footage sourced from various cameras and times. This element means that the video quality ranges from murky and fuzzy footage to sub-par detailed interviews from the '60s. None of the footage was expertly converted or transferred to make a pristine-looking feature. However, the new talking head interviews are dynamic and wonderful.

The HD image on these brand new interviews reveals facial features and textures in clothing very well.  Colors in the present day are bold and rich as well. But other than that, the archival footage is variable due to its source. Given this situation, MVD still manages to make the film as good as it can be at this time. There are still dirt, debris, and varying degrees of grain, but it's the film itself that everyone is paying attention to.

Audio Review

3.5 Stars out of 5

This release comes with both a DTS-HD 5.1 audio mix and an LPCM 2.0 stereo option. Both sound great, but the 5.1 is the way to go. There isn't a ton of surround sound activity in this documentary so except for a front-heavy film. Also, there really isn't any big Beatles music playing like in most other documentaries.

The guess is that the rights were too expensive here for their music and thus no Beatles music is really heard, which is unfortunate. Still, the voiceovers and dialogue in the interviews sound clean, clear, and perfect without any issues. There really isn't a low end of bass either since the Beatles music is mostly absent here.

Special Features

1 Stars out of 5

There are about 34 minutes of bonus materials, mostly being deleted interviews from the film.

  • Additional Interviews (HD, 22 Mins.) - There are some deleted interviews added here.
  • Ashram Map (HD, 6 Mins.) - A cool tour of the place where the Beatles stayed.
  • Production Photo Diary (HD, 4 Mins.) - A collection of photos from the documentary.
  • Trailer (HD, 2 Mins.) - A trailer for the film.

Final Thoughts

The Beatles And India is a very good documentary that captures those couple of years when the iconic band lived in India, changed their sound, wrote the White Album, and began their big spiritual journey. It also shined a light on India to the rest of the world. The 1080p HD transfer and the DTS-HD 5.1 audio mix are both solid, given the elements and source. The bonus features add more interviews as well. For Beatles Fans Only. 

  • TECH SPECS & RELEASE DETAILS
    Technical Specs:
    Blu-ray Disc
    Video Resolution/Codec:
    1080p AVC/MPEG-4
    Length:94
    Release Country:United States
    Movie Studio: Abacus Media Rights
    Release Date: June 21st, 2022