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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
Stunning, superb film. Completely deserving of having won "Best Picture" at the Worldfest film festival. This romantic drama/tragedy, set in the Colonial India of the 1930's is compelling, and is even more poignant when put in context of the emerging Independence movement in India at that time. The powerful subtext is the end of Colonialism. The performances by the actors are outstanding - particularly Linus Roache (of Law and Order fame), Rahul Bose, Nandita Das and Jennifer Ehle.
Energizing the story are four magnificent performances. Linus Roache as the English planter Henry Moores is trapped by a slowly debilitating moral choice, and his gradual moral deterioration is a symbol for every good Englishman whose moral shortcomings were tested in the era of empire. Nandita Das's wonderful portrayal as Henry's mistress Sajani is remarkably sensitive and very poignant. She is head-strongly in love, yet naive as to the ramifications of her reckless love affair. Her natural empathy for her character turns a potential victim into an emblem of feminine struggle. Jennifer Ehle as Herny's wife is probably the scene stealer of the movie.
A marvelous performance is delivered by Rahul Bose, as the man caught in the middle - T.K. Neelam, the planter's trusted foreman and friend, who is caught in the middle as his two worlds collide. A Western educated man but with strong roots in his tribal village, TK has to choose whether is it right to betray a friend or one's own people? T.K. final choice forms the climax of the film when he forsakes both worlds for the Gandhian Independence movement.
Santosh Sivan demonstrates his genius behind the lens, with breathtaking Cinematography, and Mark Killian outdoes his score from the Oscar winning film - Tsotsi. A MUST SEE FILM.
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