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.
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
Om Puri played Nahari in Gandhi (1982), which also dealt with the transition of British India to self governance and the partition of India in 1947. See more »
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 »
Viceroy's House is a historical drama with enough Indian spice to maintain viewer engagement.
Honestly looking at the trailer, I was expecting a story that was made for TV but attempted to be bold enough to grace the big screen. I couldn't be anymore wrong. The last viceroy of India is tasked with leading the country before its eventual independence which soon turns into a communal massacre. The Partition of India back in 1947 is an important moment of modern history where this drama serves as a reminder of the monumental loss during the nationwide migration. Over one million souls lost their lives during the violent conflict between Muslims and Hindus, with many families being torn apart through abrupt segregation. Given that the director was the granddaughter of a survivor, there is a personal touch to the melodrama that unfolds. From simple quibbling of deciding which food items, people and furniture remain in India or are sent to Pakistan to the more serious issues of rationing supplies to refugee camps. Chadha deftly embeds the culture of India to the heartbreaking partitioning process, allowing the balance for historical importance and a fictitious romance to coincide together. The latter sub-plot, resembling a 'Romeo & Juliet' scenario, seemed to be the primary focus of the first act which unfortunately detracted from the main and far superior plot of India's independence. However the story gets back on track during the second half which quickly grabs your attention back. Bonneville and Anderson gave satisfactory performances, although occasionally lacked emotional conviction. Also the melodrama became too excessive at times, trying too hard to make you tear up. Credit where credit is due though, I did shed a tear towards the end which was certainly the most poignant act of the entire film. I do love a good "running through the crowd" scene. A slightly uneven start irons itself out towards the end to produce a sumptuous and important historical drama that will leave you reaching for the tissues by its conclusion. Atleast I know what a viceroy is now...
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this