Viceroy's House (2017) Tuesday, 07 April 2020

Viceroy's House (2017)

Additional Info

  • Rating:

    PG: Mild themes.

  • The pitch:

    Borders on disbelief.

  • Starring:

    Gillian Anderson, Michael Gambon, Hugh Bonneville, Manish Dayal, Simon Callow, Om Puri, Huma Qureshi, Lily Travers, Simon Williams, Sarah-Jane Dias, Samrat Chakrabarti, Lucy Fleming, Denzil Smith

  • Directed by:

    Gurinder Chadha

  • Running time:

    106 minutes

  • Rated:

    PG (Australia), 12A (UK), NR (USA)


    People are pushed, shoved, spat on, punched, slapped, threatened with a knife. Burning houses. Archival footage of riots, burning buildings, destroyed villages. A newspaper headline announces a massacre on a train/no survivors. Arguing. Nazis, Hitler, civil war, Tsar Nicholas II bayonetted and set on fire, houses burnt down, murders, rapes, hatred, gangs, people killing each other, mob violence, wrecking, burning, looting, fighting, savages, butchery mentioned. Blood/gore: People on stretchers, bandages. Bloody lip, bloody grazes, bruising. Archival footage of injured people on stretchers, corpses beneath sheets, dead baby. Forty thousand dead, 3000 killed, 8000 injured, death, destruction, famine, bloodshed, massacre, millions of refugees, smallpox, cholera, dead family, dead father, starved to death, 14 million displaced, 1 million dead mentioned.


    (None): Kissing, hand-holding, caressing, flirting, hugging. Shirtless man (Ghandi).


    Alcohol (wine). Migraine pills mentioned.


    Name-calling (wretched, slippery, fool, idealist, trouble-maker, etc). Religious references and exclamations (heaven help me, I hope to god, why the hell, etc).


    Indian independence, the Mountbatten plan, 1940s India, partition, independence, British rule, compromise, religion, democracy, justice, beliefs, father-daughter relationships, blindness, Ghandi, peace, respect, segregation, borders, Pakistan, Muslims, Sikhs, Hindus, refugees, crisis, liberation, loss.


    Dead father, dead fiance (implied), orphaned/lost child. Jailed father, dead father, dead family mentioned. Engagement party, fireworks. Plane setting. Dog, horses, goats. Animal rugs. Chicken eaten. Spitting. Brief subtitles. Archival footage during end credits. Based on the book The Shadow of the Great Game: The Untold Story of India's Partiton by Narendra Singh Sarila.


    Nimble, watchable, big-hearted, illuminating, compassionate, heartfelt, entertaining, fascinating, epic, vivd, timely, opulent, ambitious, personal, lively, enjoyable, informative, gripping, lavish, heartfelt. Excellent/fine performances, elaborate/expensive-looking production and costume design, tries very hard not to offend, swirling/dramatic/grandiloquent/hard-working/rich score, arresting visuals, harrowing archival footage under end credits.


    Overlong, basic, frustrating, shallow, starchy, stuffy, sanitised, reductive, contrived, clunky, lukewarm, flavourless, stilted, clumsy, sprawling. Clumsy/unnecessary/soapy/awkward/corny/cliched romantic subplot, airless drama, thinly sketched characters, schematic/tone-deaf/trite dialogue, a little unconvincing.

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