The Least of These: The Graham Staines Story

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The Least of These: The Graham Staines Story
Directed byAneesh Daniel
Written byAndrew Matthews
Based onThe life of Graham Staines
Starring
Production
company
Distributed bySkypass entertainment Inc.
Release date
  • 1 February 2019 (2019-02-01) (USA)
  • 29 March 2019 (2019-03-29) (India)[1]
Running time
112 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Box office$695,164[2]

The Least of These is a 2019 drama film based on the true story of Graham Staines, an Australian missionary working in India helping lepers.[3] The film is directed by Aneesh Daniel and written by Andrew Matthews. Stephen Baldwin plays Staines. The film was shot in 2012 in India.[4]

Development[edit]

Stephen Baldwin said on The Today Show he was brought in to help develop the character and then was given the role.[5]

Plot[edit]

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.

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

Devesh Sharma of Filmfare giving three stars out of five says, "Indeed, it's the performances that make you sit up and take notice of this flawed film. It does introduce you to the horrors of leprosy, at one time you feel you're watching something about The Holocaust. But then it delves into OTT melodrama, thereby losing its balance...."[6]

Philip Martin writing for Arkansas Democrat-Gazette says, "The Least of These is a watchable faith-based film made by a group from Texas, filmed on location in India under the entirely orthodox direction of Aneesh Daniel." and "While there's a certain obviousness to the plotting, and a necessary streamlining of knotty issues into easily digested factoids, for the most part The Least of These does a good job of communicating the selflessness of people like Staines and the genuinely inspiring example of his widow, Gladys (Shari Rigby)."[7]

Writing for The Times of India Renuka Vyavahare rates the film with three stars out of five and opines, "Like the subject it tackles, Aneesh Daniel's execution and Andrew Matthew's writing seems a tad agenda driven." Vyavahare further observes, "Instead of letting people decide for themselves, the narrative tells them what to believe and that's a bit of a put off".[8] "The facts behind the gruesome murders, for which Bajrang Dal member Dara Singh is serving a life sentence, are watered down to the extent that the movie will offend nobody except those seeking to draw connections between the killings in the late 1990s and the current spate of attacks on minority groups," writes Nandini Ramnath for Scroll.in.[9]

Cast[edit]

  • Sharman Joshi ... Manav Banerjee
  • Stephen Baldwin ... Graham Staines
  • Shari Rigby ... Gladys Staines
  • Manoj Mishra ... Mahendra
  • Prakash Belawadi ... Kedar Mishra
  • Aditi Chengappa ... Shanti Banerjee
  • Aneesh Daniel ... House Agent
  • Campbell Ellis ... Philip Staines
  • Emily Ellis ... Esther Staines
  • Isaac Ellis ... Timothy Staines

References[edit]

  1. ^ richamalviya (3 March 2019), "The Least Of These: The Graham Staines story gets a second release date", TheIndianwire, retrieved 25 March 2019
  2. ^ "The Least of These: The Graham Staines Story (2019) - Box Office Mojo". www.boxofficemojo.com.
  3. ^ Reporter, India-West Staff. "New Film 'The Least of These' Portrays Life and Work of Australian Missionary Graham Staines". India West.
  4. ^ https://www.illawarramercury.com.au/story/6129484/illawarra-siblings-in-new-baldwin-film-at-aussie-cinemas-now/
  5. ^ "Stephen Baldwin talks about role in ˜The Least of These". TODAY.com.
  6. ^ Sharma, Devesh (26 March 2019). "The Least of These: The Graham Staines Story Movie Review". Filmfare. Retrieved 27 March 2019.
  7. ^ Martin, Philip (1 February 2019). "Review The Least of These: The Graham Staines Story". Arkansasonline. Retrieved 27 March 2019.
  8. ^ Vyavahare, Renuka (27 March 2019). "The Least Of These: The Graham Staines Story Movie Review". Times Of India. Retrieved 27 March 2019.
  9. ^ Ramnath, Nandini. "'The Least of These' movie review: A timid recreation of the murder of missionary Graham Staines". Scroll.in.

External links[edit]