Photograph: Jon Evans

This month at Moviola

Viceroy’s House

(2017) 106 mins

Director: Gurinder Chadha
Writer: Paul Mayeda Berges
Cinematography: Ben Smithard
Production Design: Laurence Dorman
Music: A R Rahman


Viceroy’s House in Delhi was the home of the British rulers of India. After 300 years, that rule was coming to an end. For 6 months in 1947, Lord Mountbatten, great grandson of Queen Victoria, assumed the post of the last Viceroy, charged with handing India back to its people.

The film’s story unfolds within that great House. Upstairs lived Mountbatten together with his wife and daughter; downstairs lived their 500 Hindu, Muslim and Sikh servants. As the political elite – Nehru (Tanveer Ghani), Jinnah (Denzil Smith) and Gandhi (Neeraj Kabi) – converged on the House to wrangle over the birth of independent India, conflict erupted.

A decision was taken to divide the country and create a new Muslim homeland: Pakistan. It was a decision whose consequences reverberate to this day. The film examines these events through the prism of a marriage – that of Dickie and Edwina Mountbatten (Hugh Bonneville and Gillian Anderson) – and a romance – that between a young Hindu servant, Jeet (Manish Dayal), and his intended Muslim bride, Aalia (Huma Qureshi).

It is a story that is deeply personal to Gurinder Chadha, whose own family was caught up in the tragic events that unfolded as the Raj came to an end


Wednesday 27th September


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