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Download: Viceroy’s House — ‘sobering’

Download: Viceroy’s House — ‘sobering’

August 11
20:34 2017

Gurinder Chadha, 2017

20th Century Fox

The brief, stormy reign of the last Viceroy of India, Lord Mountbatten (Hugh Bonneville), and his sprightly wife Edwina (Gillian Anderson, excellent) here becomes more than mere Raj-schlock, despite the lavish costume-drama treatment, because of the deadly seriousness of the events depicted: the hasty Partition as two centuries of British rule slid into a bloodbath of sectarian murder, riot, rampage. The displacing of 10m people and countless deaths were the result of British self-interest. An upstairs-downstairs story within the vast house mirrors external events while director Gurinder Chadha shows Mountbatten (of whom a contemporary said he could “charm a vulture off a corpse”) as conscience-stricken, snookered by his own political superiors, overwhelmed. A sobering, timely film.


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