Let’s Have That Conversation, Viceroy’s House Film Review

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Viceroy's House courtesy of Another Tongue

Viceroy’s House courtesy of Another Tongue

The Bend It Like Beckham decided to make a personal story with the film Viceroy’s House. Director Gurinder Chadha who gained worldwide recognition with her film Bend It Like Beckham co-wrote the story for this film based on the Partition of India and Pakistan.

The film has been dubbed in Hindi and given the title Partition 1947 and Chadha’s grandparents were directly affected by this historical event.

The film stars the famous Downtown Abbey star Hugh Bonneville as Lord Mountbatten, X-files super star Gillian Anderson as Lady Mountbatten, Manish Dayal as Jeet and Huma Qureshi as Aalia. The film also includes the late Om Puri as Aalia’s blind father and a mix of British Asian and Indian actors in other roles.

Viceroy’s House as the name suggests is set on the last few weeks of the posting of Lord Mountbatten to India to complete the process of Independence and handover India to the countrymen. When he arrives there are many changes that begin and he soon realizes that there is the talk of partition looming. He tries his utmost to avoid the situation but the leaders, including Mahatma Gandhi are at a conundrum and Mountbatten gets the final approval from Prime Minister Churchill and thus the famous Radcliffe line is drawn.

In the backdrop is the love story between Hindu Jeet and Muslim Aalia, who have to make the decision just like the rest of the staff working for the Viceroy and the rest of the country to which side to swear their allegiance.

Gurinder Chadha gives you a great story and she does not waste time in keeping the pace of what needs to be done- the partition. With the production assistance from BBC Films there are several black and white newsreels she uses to add to the story and show the suffering and consequences of the carnage that was ensuing between the Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims. Historical films like these can not be all like Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln, so Gurinder does deliver an important gem to the cinema industry that will be remembered for years to come.

There are excellent performances by Hugh, but it is Gillian as Lady Edwina and Manish Dayal as Jeet who steal your hearts.

Viceroy’s House will serve to be a productive discuss over ek cup chai.


Magical & Magnificent, Film Review Beauty & The Beast

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Beauty And The Beast

The magical tale of Beauty & The Beast has lived on till now and will continue to conquer millions of hearts too in the future.

Disney presented the story in a new avatar, with the lovely Emma Watson as Belle and Downtown Abbey’s Matthew, Dan Stevens as Beast.

Supporting this Beauty & The Beast were Luke Evans as Gaston, Kevin Kline as Maurice (Belle’s father), Josh Gad as LeFou, Ewan McGregor as Lumiere, Stanley Tucci as Maestro Cadenza, Ian McKellen as Cogsworth and Emma Thompson as Mrs Potts.

Director Bill Condon was the man behind the Twilight Series: Breaking of Dawn Part 1 & 2 and you can see how he brought that fantasy feel into this Beauty & The Beast. There are great conversations in still moments, for example when Mrs Potts is talking to Belle in her new room in the castle and the best is the snow scene in the courtyard when the Beast and her are talking about books.

Composer Alan Menken who worked on the 1991 Walt Disney edition of Beauty & The Beast also worked on this new version and the music indeed remained breathless. The new version of the title track by Ariana Grande and John Legend was in tune with today’s sounds, but the evergreen one with Emma Thompson still remained and it was an awww moment.

The dinner song “Be Our Guest” by Ewan McGregor, Emma Thompson, Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Ian McKellen was more fun visually due to the advanced technology now available especially since this film was in a 3D version.

Miss Watson is superb as Belle and Dan Stevens blue eyes are magical indeed.

The entire production design was fascinating. Beauty & The Beast will be back with a newer look, for now this one was heartwarming.