FIRST RUN, FESTIVAL QUALITY, MUST SEE, CINEMA.

Viceroy’s House

VICEROY’S HOUSE

February 14 – 2PM + 7:30 PM

India/UK/Sweden, 2017 – Rated 14A – 107 minutes
Directed by Gurinder Chadha
Cast: Hugh Bonneville, Gillian Anderson, Manish Dayal and Huma Qureshi

Lord Louis Mountbatten, his wife Edwina and daughter Pamela arrive in New Delhi in 1947.  Acting as the last Viceroy of India, Mountbatten is to usher in the independence of the British colony.  The family’s splendid surroundings, the Viceroy’s House, has a staff of 500 who are anticipating the momentous changes about to occur.  Amongst them are two serving staff, Jeet and Aalia. His love for her crosses an equally momentous barrier.  He is Hindu, she Muslim.

Behind the scenes, Britain is attempting to secretly create a separate state based on those same religious lines. Their intent is to create a buffer state against the USSR. India already has two leaders who are divided on its future. Jawaharlal Nehru wants a single nation future while Muhammed Ali Jinnah desires a separate Muslim state to be called Pakistan. Mountbatten’s efforts to mediate falter in the face of riots that break out all over India and force his hand.

Efforts to create a partitioned India are rushed by the chaos. Hatred, slaughter and surges of refugees sweep over the British colony. Within the House, Jeet and Aalia’s encounters mirror the forces in the world outside. She makes a fateful decision to embark for Pakistan by train.

Mountbatten and his forceful wife, Edwina decide they can’t just abandon India in the ongoing crisis and are witness to the personal impact of the violence on their community of servants.

 

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