My husband and I enjoy our regular trips to the cinema to watch the latest films. This week we went to watch ‘Viceroy’s House’, which is directed by Gurinder Chadha.
Viceroy’s House story line
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.
Mountbatten lived upstairs together with his wife and daughter. Downstairs lived their 500 Hindu, Muslim and Sikh servants.
As the political elite took their seats to wrangle over the birth of independent India, conflict erupted throughout the House and a catastrophic decision was taken with global repercussions.
Source: Pathe International
The Director, Gurinder Chadha gave a very good account of the refugee crisis which serves to reinforce the current crisis and highlights the plight of citizens who are caught up in a divide and rule mentality.
The film touches on the difficulties of the leaders of different faiths coming together to agree on the least destructive outcome and yet we are led to believe that Winston Churchill was the secret architect of the havoc, that finally divided India with the subsequent creation of Pakistan. This disturbed me somewhat, so I have decided to read more about the speech that Churchill made on March 6th 1946 as part of a discussion on the topic of Indian independence.
Hugh Bonneville was well cast as Lord Mountbatten, in his role as the last Viceroy of India. However, I could not keep my mind from wandering back to his role in Downton Abbey. Gillian Anderson got my vote for her strong portrayal of Edwina Mountbatten as a compassionate and outspoken women.
Overall an interesting historical drama, that has certainly got me thinking. However after watching the film, I don’t feel like I have gained an in-depth understanding about the events that took place in 1947, so I will undertake further reading to gain a greater insight into the Independence of India.