Malayalam-speaking T.K. Neelan, Rajat, Manas and his sister, Sajani, live in Kalpetta Township in Kerala, India, during the British Raj. As children they used to play in the woods where Manas and T.K. used to play Bhagwan Shri Ram and Shri Lakshman respectively, and rescue Sita (Sajani) from Lord Ravan's (Rajat) clutches. Now the year is 1937, all are grown up, while Manas is a laborer, Sajani is married to Rajat, and T.K. works for his British employer, Henry Moore, who lives there with his wife, Laura, and their son, Peter. Sajani is also employed as a maidservant in the Moore household. T.K.'s headmaster asks him to join the freedom movement and ask the British to quit India, but T.K. feels that India has made a lot of progress under the British rule and they should continue with this partnership. His headmaster cautions him that partnership is only between equals, but T.K. disregards this, and it is this attitude that will compel him to re-examine his way of thinking when he finds... Written by
The story takes place in 1937, but the pickup truck seen throughout the film is a 1950's Jeepster truck. See more »
T. K. Neelan:
Sahib, we will have to change course again.
This has got to be the damnedest crookedest road in the Crown!
T. K. Neelan:
Oh, definitely. But it will be here after monsoon. A straight road would slide away.
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When I first began watching this film, I thought it was a movie that romanticized adultery. After all, the first minutes of the film show a very romantic tryst between a Brit living in India (Linus Roache) and his maid (Nanditas Das). However, this is not where the film went and I was quite impressed overall. You see, it turns out that the love is very one-sided. The Brit is married to a sweet lady and you can't see any reason for the man having an affair other than he's a sleazy dog. And, in many ways, this character appears to be a metaphor for the British in India--as he uses this woman and feels a certain sense of superiority. Where all this goes is very gripping--and I was caught by surprise many times. The film is full of interesting characters (especially Rahul Bose, who plays a VERY devoted servant who evolves throughout the film), an excellent script that is intelligently written and assumes the audience isn't stupid and wonderful locales. My only reservation is a small one--and some of the ending is a bit anti-climactic and certainly won't sit well with all the viewers. Still, it's a very good film and one well worth your time.
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