Hugh Bonneville treads a luxurious path in Gurinder Chadha’s glossy political drama.
Set in 1947 during the partition of India, Viceroy’s House chronicles the actions of Lord Mountbatten as he is handed the complex personal and professional task of giving the country back to its people.
As events unfold, it becomes apparent that it is not only a colonial country divided but the titular house itself; one floor separating the lofty Mountbattens from their 500 Sikh, Hindu and Muslim servants.
Adapted Narendra Singh Sarila’s book The Shadow of the Great Game, the central premise details the consequences of the chastening birth of two nations and the subsequent fallout, as both a physical and metaphorical line is drawn between India and Pakistan.
Chadha’s fusion of romantic melodrama and political clout is somewhat Downton-esque in its delivery, lifted by some beautiful cinematography.
“Viceroy's House is at its best when the pomp and circumstance is kept at bay and the film is left to capture the everyday reality of life in the palace just before the British leave.” (Independent)
“Chadha's most ambitious film to date.” (Telegraph) (research Chris Coetsee).
Here’s hoping it tells of the treachery and terror of Partition. Come and see.