6.7/10
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58 user 103 critic

Viceroy's House (2017)

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The final Viceroy of India, Lord Mountbatten, is tasked with overseeing the transition of British India to independence, but meets with conflict as different sides clash in the face of monumental change.

Director:

Gurinder Chadha

Writers:

Paul Mayeda Berges (screenplay by), Gurinder Chadha (screenplay by) | 4 more credits »
1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Hugh Bonneville ... Lord Louis Mountbatten
Gillian Anderson ... Lady Edwina Mountbatten
Manish Dayal ... Jeet Kumar
Huma Qureshi ... Aalia Noor
Michael Gambon ... Lord Lionel 'Pug' Ismay
Om Puri ... Ali Rahim Noor
David Hayman ... Ewart
Simon Callow ... Cyril Radcliffe
Denzil Smith ... Muhammad Ali Jinnah
Neeraj Kabi ... Mahatma Gandhi
Tanveer Ghani ... Jawaharlal Nehru
Lily Travers ... Pamela Mountbatten
Jaz Deol ... Duleep Singh (as Jaskiranjit Deol)
Arunoday Singh ... Asif
Roberta Taylor ... Miss Reading
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Storyline

New Dehli in March 1947. The huge and stately Viceroy's Palace is like a beehive. Its five hundred employees are busy preparing the coming of Lord Louis Mountbatten, who has just been appointed new (and last) viceroy of India by prime minister Clement Attlee. Mountbatten, whose difficult task consists of overseeing the transition of British India to independence, arrives at the Palace, accompanied by Edwina, his liberal-minded wife and Pamela, his eighteen-year-old daughter. Meanwhile, in the staff quarters, a love story is born between Jeet, a Hindu, and Aalia, a Muslim beauty. Things will prove difficult - not to say very difficult - both on the geopolitical and personal level. Written by Guy Bellinger

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Based on a true story See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

UK | India | Sweden

Language:

Punjabi | Hindi | English

Release Date:

1 September 2017 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Adeus Índia See more »

Filming Locations:

Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$1,105,717, 9 November 2017
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color | Black and White (newsreel archive footage)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jeet and Ali speak about Charles Dickens and some of Dickens' books, which Jeet read to Ali during events before the time frame depicted in the film. Gillian Anderson played Lady Dedlock in Bleak House (2005) and Miss Havisham in Great Expectations (2011). See more »

Goofs

As the plane flying the new Viceroy to India is over the Caucasus Mountains, the view out of both windows is identical, with the sun coming from the same direction. The shadows should have been reversed in the window on the other side. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Behind the Scenes of Viceroy's House (2017) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The 80:20 Rule
18 March 2017 | by bob-the-movie-manSee all my reviews

India, 1947. Churchill's government has sent Lord Grantham - - sorry -- Lord Louis Mountbatten of Burma (Hugh Bonneville, "The Monuments Men") as the new Viceroy. His mission is to make sure he is the last ever Viceroy, for India is to be returned to independence. But racial tensions between the Hindu and minority Muslim populations are brittle and deteriorating fast. Can India survive as a single country, or will Mountbatten be forced to partition the country along religious lines to avoid civil-war and countless deaths?

Of course, there is little tension in this plot line since we know Pakistan was indeed founded by Muhammad Ali Jinnah (played by Denzil Smith) on August 14th 1947. (In reality, Jinnah's victory was short lived as he died of TB the following year). The rest of India went on to be ruled by Jawaharlal Nehru (played by Tanveer Ghani). What the film does remind this generation of is the extreme cost of that partition, with riots, mass abductions and rapes, over a million estimated deaths and one of the biggest migrations of populations ever seen. (All of this is largely shown through original newsreel footage, which is effectively inter-weaved with the film).

So as an educational documentary it is useful. However, as an entertaining movie night out? Not so much. After coming out of the film we needed to buy some milk at Tesco and I was put on the spot by the checkout lady to sum-up the film: "Worthy but dull" was what I came up with, which with further time to reflect still seems a good summary.

This shouldn't have been the case, since the film is directed by the well-respected Gurinder Chadha ("Bend it like Beckham) and boasts a stellar cast, with Bonneville supported by Gillian Anderson ("The X Files") as Lady Mountbatten; Michael Gambon ("Harry Potter") as General Ismay (Mountbatten's chief of staff); Simon Callow ("Four Weddings and a Funeral") as Radcliffe (the drawer of 'the new map'); and Om Puri ("The Hundred Foot Journey") as former political prisoner Ali Rahim Noor. Playing Mountbatten's daughter is Lily Travers ("Kingsman: The Secret Service"): Virginia McKenna's granddaughter.

But unfortunately, for me at least, the film lumbers from scene to scene, seldom engaging with me. Bonneville's Mountbatten, whilst perfectly sound, was just a re-tread of Downton with added humidity and curry; Anderson's (probably extremely accurate) crystal-glass English accent quickly becomes tiresome; and elsewhere a lot of the acting of the broader Indian cast is, I'm sorry to comment, rather sub-par. For me, only Om Puri, who sadly died in January, delivers an effective and moving performance as the blind father (literally) unable to see that the arranged marriage for his daughter Aalia (Huma Qureshi) is heading for trouble thanks to Mountbatten's man-servant. And no, that isn't a euphemism.... I'm talking about his real manservant, Jeet Kumar (Manish Dayal)!!

As an aside, the late Puri (probably most famous in western cinema for "East is East") has made over 270 feature films in his prolific career, over and above his many appearances on Indian TV. And he still has another 6 films to be released! May he rest in peace.

Probably realising that the historical plot is not enough to sustain the film, the screenwriters Paul Mayeda Berges ("Bend it like Beckham"), Moira Buffini ("Tamara Drewe") and Gurinder Chadha try to add more substance with the illicit romance between the Hindu Jeet and the Muslim Aalia. Unfortunately this is clunky at best, with an incessant 30 minutes-worth of longing looks before anything of substance happens. Even the "Lion"-style denouement (also with a railway train connection) is unconvincing.

After that, the film just tends to peter out, with a 'real-life photograph' segue delivering a rather tenuous connection between a character not even featured in the film and the director!

Mrs. Chadha has clearly corralled an army of extras to deliver some of the scenes in the film, in the hope of delivering a historical epic of the scale of Attenborough's "Gandhi". For me, she misses by a considerable margin. But that's just my view..... if you like historical dramas, its a film you might enjoy: as the great man himself said "Honest disagreement is often a good sign of progress".

(For the graphical version of this review, or to comment on it, please visit bob-the-movie-man.com.)


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