Romantic Road – Film Review

Have you ever wanted to head on an epic adventure and drive around a country? Have you ever thought of embarking on such a journey in an old 1936 Rolls Royce?

People might think you were mad to tackle such an expedition in such an old car. Well, not to leading London lawyer, Rupert Grey and his wife Jan. Romantic Road is a documentary that follows the Greys as they take Rupert’s fathers classic Rolls Royce on 4,000-mile trip across Northern India.

The roads of India are notorious for their high death rate and lack of rules. At the best of times, they are unsafe in the modern cars of today. So, to take a car that is almost over 80 years old to such a destination is a ludicrous idea. However, after travelling to India in their earlier years, Rupert Grey didn’t see this as much of a challenge, but more of an opportunity to revisit a place he and wife Jan loved so dearly. It was also a wonderful opportunity to pay tribute to his late father that once said, “The Rolls had done the equivalent of driving to the Moon. Now it had to come back”. And at the end of the journey, Rupert would have brought it back.

To the people of India, you might think the sight of a vehicle such as a Rolls Royce would assert a level of dominance and wealth. It would bring them back to the time of the British occupation where many of these vehicles would roam the streets. To an extent it does, but what was extremely refreshing about this film was how the Indian people loved seeing something so different pass through their streets and their local villages. There is footage of children and even adults, hanging onto the side of the Rolls standing on the running boards with beaming smiles on their faces.

This film lovingly dives into Rupert Grey’s passion for travel and photography, with the expedition culminating at the Chobi Mela Photography Expo in Dhaka, Bangladesh, an event that Rupert is due to speak at. It also showcases Jan’s undying love for her husband. That whilst such a trip might not entirely be her cup of tea, she is more than happy to go on this adventure because she knows how much it means to her husband. Although the journey isn’t entirely a smooth one, Rupert’s tenacity is what gets both them and their stunning Rolls Royce through the difficult, but mostly stunning terrain.

Amongst all the wonderful people in this film sits the beautiful 1963 Rolls Royce. You would think that a car of this age would barely make it around town. Even Rupert’s mechanic was hesitant it would survive the journey. There are moments where you think it might be the end, but it always pulled through. It is definitely a wonderful display of classic British engineering.

Romantic Road is a classic take on the ‘it is not all about the destination, but about the journey’. This documentary is a fascinating tale of a man’s love for his wife and his passion for his father’s legacy, left behind in this fantastic old Rolls Royce. I am thankful for the opportunity to review this utterly remarkable film and I urge you to give it a watch.

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