The Razor’s Edge (1984)

Director – John Byrum


The sharp edge of a razor is difficult to pass over; thus the wise say the path to salvation is hard. – Katha Upanishad

​This is the epigraph of Somerset Maugham’s 1944 novel The Razor’s Edge. The film is an adaptation of this story.

A World War I fighter pilot Larry is disillusioned with his war experiences. He decides that he wants to search for the meaning of life. His fiancée refuses to stay with him and instead marries a rich man. Larry then moves through Europe staying in Paris for sometime, working in a coal mine for some time and eventually reaching India. His adventures bring him to Ladakh where he finally achieves enlightenment.

​Throughout the film, Larry’s non-conformist behavior and thoughts are contrasted with the conformist views of Elliot Templeton, his fiancee’s uncle. Larry is going against the stream of the society and dares to live his life with the ultimate happiness of enlightened activity while Elliot always talks about happiness derived from conforming to society’s demands.

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