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Viceroy's House

A dramatic love story frames Gurinder Chadha’s historical film about the last days of British rule in India. Young Hindu Jeet Kumar meets his great love again when he begins working for the last viceroy, but Aalia Noor is Muslim and already ...

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Gurinder Chadha’s costume drama about the last days of British rule in India is framed by a dramatic love story. Young Hindu Jeet Jumar begins working for the last viceroy, Lord Mountbatten, and meets his great love from his village who works there as a translator for Mountbatten’s daughter. But Aalia Noor is a Muslim and already engaged. Their future together starts off looking like a possibility, but the tensions being Hindus and Muslims keep driving the couple further and further apart. The real drama of the film is big politics: while Ghandi and Nehrus followers dream of a free, unified India, the Muslims, who are afraid of becoming a minority, propagate for their own country: Pakistan. The conflict keeps getting more violent and massacres are committed on both sides. The Brits are largely powerless, or rather, are avoidant of responsibility. Their goal is to withdraw as quickly as possible: in just 5 (!) weeks the borders between the brand new state are to be drawn according to religious affiliation. Borders that run smack in the middle of villages and families.

Chadha deftly interweaves state business with a portrait of unconventional Mountbatten, the multi-religious love story, and the absurd everyday rituals of the court. Sometimes it all comes together very well like in the scene where all the palace’s goods are divided up. 80% of the estate is meant to go to the future republic of India, 20% is meant to go to Pakistan. That goes for the silver spoons as well as the library inventory. Jane Austen goes to India, the Brontës go to Pakistan. When it’s time for the encyclopedia, the librarian refuses to split it up. Those in charge of deciding over nations don’t have that option.

Hendrike Bake (INDIEKINO MAGAZIN)

Translation: Elinor Lewy

Credits

Original title: Viceroy's House
Großbritannien/Indien 2017, 107 min
Genre: Drama, Historical Film
Director: Gurinder Chadha
Author: Gurinder Chadha, Moira Buffini, Paul Mayeda Berges
DOP: Ben Smithard
Montage: Victoria Boydell, Valerio Bonelli
Music: A.R. Rahman
Distributor: Tobis Filmverleih
Cast: Simon Callow, Michael Gambon, Hugh Bonneville, Gillian Anderson
FSK: 6
Release: 10.08.2017

Website

Screenings

Screenings

  • OV Original version
  • OmU Original with German subtitles
  • OmeU Original with English subtitles
English/with English subtitles
All languages

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