“I am to be the last Viceroy of India and I shall carry out the role with great pride,” says Lord Louis Montbatten (Hugh Bonneville, “Downton Abbey”) in a new trailer for Gurinder Chadha’s “Viceroy’s House.” But Montbatten doesn’t think his historic post will be easy or straightforward, and admits that “new nations are rarely born in peace.”
“Viceroy’s House in Delhi was the home of the British rulers of India. After 300 years, that rule was coming to an end. For six months in 1947, Lord Mountbatten, great grandson of Queen Victoria, assumed the post of the last Viceroy, charged with handing India back to its people,” the film’s official synopsis details. Set in 1947, “Viceroy’s House” “unfolds within that great house. Upstairs lived Mountbatten together with his wife and daughter; downstairs lived their 500 Hindu, Muslim, and Sikh servants. As the political elite — Nehru, Jinnah, and Gandhi — converged on the House to wrangle over the birth of independent India, conflict erupted.”
The action-packed trailer shows some of that conflict, and alludes to tensions between Hindus, Sikhs, and Muslims. “Whatever their differences are, all Indians have one thing in common: they can’t wait to get rid of us,” Montbatten says.
It’s not all political drama, though. “Viceroy’s” House” also features a plot about star-crossed lovers, a Hindu servant (Manish Dayal, “Halt and Catch Fire”) and a Muslim woman (Huma Qureishi, “Gangs of Wasseypur”).
“Bhaji on the Beach,” “Bride & Prejudice,” and “Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging” are among Chadha’s directing credits. Next, she will helm the WWII-set “Song for a Spy.” Penned by Farrukh Dhondy (“Exitz”), the film is set in France and Germany and centers on a female Indian spy.
Chadha is also developing projects for TV via her production company, Bend It TV. She has said she is interested in “great content that is effortlessly diverse” — no matter the medium. “My brand has always had a global reach and represents British storytelling, but from a diverse perspective,” she explained.
“Viceroy’s House” hits VOD and theaters September 1. Moira Buffini (“Harlots”) and frequent Chadha collaborator Paul Mayeda Berges penned the script. Gillian Anderson (“The Fall”) co-stars.
Trailer Watch: History Is Made in Gurinder Chadha’s “Viceroy’s House” was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.