Pin It

Film review: 'Viceroy's House' 

Dramatizing the 1947 Partition of India, the middling historical drama "Viceroy's House" finds Lord Mountbatten (Hugh Bonneville) being sent to India as the country's last viceroy. He's joined by his wife, Edwina (Gillian Anderson), and appointed to oversee the peaceful transfer of power as the British Empire relinquishes three centuries of control over India and returns it to the hands of its people.

There's much debate over what form this new nation should take, and eventually a compromise is made, which will divide the land into separate republics of India and Pakistan. But that's easier said than done, and the ensuing conflict and bloodshed between the country's Hindu, Muslim, and Sikh populations puts everything at risk.

We also meet two servants in Mountbatten's Delhi palace: Hindu Jeet (Manish Dayal), one of the viceroy's personal attendants, and Muslim translator Aalia (Huma Qureshi), as the script (from co-writers Moira Buffini and Paul MayedaBerges) saddles its only major Indian characters with a contrived, melodramatic star-crossed romance between the would-be lovers.

The partitioning of India is an important story, well-mounted and tastefully told, but Gurinder Chadha's ("Bend It Like Beckham") bloodless direction and by-the-numbers approach lends it all an air of stuffiness. She packs infinitely more emotion into a much more personal story told over the end credits than anything we find in the film. I couldn't help wishing Chadha had chosen to simply tell that story instead.

Visit on Friday for additional film coverage, including a review of "Columbus," starring John Cho.


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Latest in Movie Reviews

More by Adam Lubitow

Browse Listings

Submit an event

"Porcupine Tree: Arriving Somewhere" @ Memorial Art Gallery

Book Discussion Group @ Penfield Public Library

Book Discussion Group @ Penfield Public Library

"The Women In the Castle" by Jessica Shattuck, led by Karen Evans....

View all of today's events »

  • Re: Our national emergency

    • Great discussion. Thank you, Mrs. Towler. But let me add another version of Leonard Cohen/s…

    • on February 21, 2019
  • Re: The F Word: Too much practice is bad for you

    • Amen!!!

    • on February 21, 2019
  • Re: Feedback 2/20

    • I think the project is too small. There should be 3 or 4 stories of…

    • on February 20, 2019
  • More »
  • This Week's Issue

    Cover Story:
    Yarms: a profile in musical curiosity
    If you’ve frequented the folk and singer-songwriter circuits in Rochester in the last 10 years, you’ve probably heard Ryan Yarmel play. Every Wednesday this month at Abilene Bar and Lounge, Yarmel is hosting a stylistically diverse concert series called the “Yarms February Frolic.” read more ...

    Tweets @RocCityNews

    © 2019 City Newspaper.

    Website powered by Foundation.