With the ongoing shambles that is Brexit it’s fitting that ‘Viceroys House’ is available from today as the release coincides with the 70th Anniversary of the Independence of India and the founding of Pakistan. After 300 years of British rulers, the last Viceroy, Lord Mountbatten, was charged with handing India back to its people. It is a story that is deeply personal to director Gurinder Chadha , whose own family was caught up in the tragic events that unfolded as the Raj came to an end.
The film’s story unfolds within the great House. Upstairs lived Mountbatten, his wife, Lady Mountbatten and daughter; downstairs lived their 500 Hindu, Muslim, Sikh servants. As the political elite – Nehru, Jinnah and Gandhi – converged on theHouse to wrangle over the birth of independent India, conflict erupted. A decision whose consequences reverberate to this day.
VICEROY’S HOUSE examines these events through the prism of a marriage – that of Dickie and Edwina Mountbatten – and a romance –that between a young Hindu servant, Jeet, and his intended Muslim bride, Aalia. The young lovers find themselves caught up in the seismic end of Empire, in conflict with the Mountbattens and with their own communities, but never ever giving up hope.
The British cast is led by Hugh Bonneville (Downton Abbey, Paddington) as Lord Mountbatten; Gillian Anderson (The X Files, The Fall) as his wife, Lady Mountbatten; Lily Travers (Kingsman) as their daughter, Pamela; and Michael Gambon (Harry Potter, Quartet) and Simon Callow (A Room With A View, Four Weddings and a Funeral) as key civil servants. The Indian and Pakistani cast is led by Manish Dayal (The Hundred Foot Journey), Huma Qureshi (Gangs of Wasseypur) and Om Puri (The Hundred Foot Journey, East Is East).
VICEROY’S HOUSE is a film that is both epic and intimate, with an inspirational message that celebrates tolerance. Many of the events depicted are either unknown or forgotten, but all have strong contemporary relevance in terms of lessons to be learnt concerning the politics of division and fear, the origins of religious extremism, and our moral responsibility towards migrants fleeing violence for a better life.
Here’s your chance to win a copy of the film by answering the following question.
What 2002 footballing film starring Keira Knightly did director Gurinder Chadha direct?
a) Punt it like Pele
b) Kick it like Keegan
c) Bend it Like Beckham
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Here’s the trailer: