Mumbai–Anil Ambani-led Reliance Entertainment will release British filmmaker of Sikh origin Gurinder Chadhas “Viceroy’s House” — a true story of the final months of British rule in India — in India and globally on March 3, 2017.
The Indian and Pakistani cast of the project is led by Manish Dayal, Huma Qureshi and Om Puri. The roles of the principal political leaders are played by Tanveer Ghani (Jawaharlal Nehru), Denzil Smith (Muhammad Ali Jinnah) and Neeraj Kabi (Mahatma Gandhi).
The British cast is led by Hugh Bonneville as Lord Mountbatten, Gillian Anderson as his wife Lady Mountbatten, Lily Travers as their daughter Pamela, and Michael Gambon and Simon Callow as key civil servants.
It is a story that is deeply personal to Gurinder, whose own family was caught up in the tragic events that unfolded as the British Raj came to an end, said a statement.
A brief of the film reads: “For six months in 1947, Lord Mountbatten 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 – Nehru, Jinnah and Gandhi – converged on the House to wrangle over the birth of independent India, conflict erupted. A decision was taken to divide the country and create a new Muslim homeland: Pakistan. It was a decision whose consequences reverberate to this day.”
The film examines these events through the prism of a marriage — that of Dickie and Edwina Mountbatten — and a romance — that between a young Hindu servant, Jeet, and his intended Muslim bride, Aalia.
According to the makers of the film, “Viceroy’s House” has an inspirational message that celebrates tolerance.
“Many of the events depicted are either unknown or forgotten, but all have strong contemporary relevance in terms of lessons to be learnt concerning the politics of division and fear, the origins of religious extremism, and our moral responsibility towards migrants fleeing violence for a better life,” read the statement.
Produced by Deepak Nayar, Paul Mayeda Berges and Gurinder, the project is executive produced by Pathé’s Cameron McCracken, Reliance Entertainment’s Shibasish Sarkar, BBC Films’ Christine Langan, BFI’s Natascha Wharton and Ingenious Media’s Tim O’Shea.
The film is a Pathé, Reliance Entertainment, BBC Films, Ingenious and BFI presentation of a Bend It Films/Deepak Nayar Production in association with FilmVast and Filmgate Films. (IANS)