Viceroys House Film NightViceroy’s House

2017 – 1hr 44min – Cert 12

Genres: Drama

Directed by: Gurinder Chadha

Stars: Gillian Anderson, Michael Gambon, Hugh Bonneville, Manish Dayal, Simon Callow, Om Puri


Bookings: email or phone Lucy Matthews 01725 518695

“A gripping political drama with a populist edge” – The Guardian

The supposedly peaceful transfer of power from Britain to India took place in 1947, before the British-Indian director of Viceroy’s House, Chadha’s Sikh, was born. But the ensuing horrors of Partition engulfed her Sikh relatives, with one of her aunts, a mere child, being starved to death. The division of the country between religious factions is now known to have brought about the largest mass migration in human history, during which 14 million Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims were displaced.

Chadha’s film stars Downton Abbey mainstay Hugh Bonneville who is very much on home ground as Lord Mountbatten, the last viceroy appointed by George VI. Gillian Anderson as Edwina Mountbatten is an outspoken voice of conscience, nevertheless having ripe fun with an accent somewhere between HM and Mrs T declaring that her new home “makes Buckingham Palace look like a bungalow”. Cameo performances by Michael Gambon and Simon Callow add to the rich mix. Downstairs, Manish Dayal’s handsome Jeet pines for Huma Qureshi’s Aalia (“a Hindu boy like you and a Muslim girl!”), their putative romance becoming a symbolic microcosm of the divide-and-rule conflict playing out across the country. Upstairs, politicians and dignitaries argue about the fate of a nation, with Mountbatten portrayed as an increasingly powerless patsy, an unwitting pawn in this imperial game being played in London by Churchill and his ministers without Mountbatten’s knowledge.

The film has warm wit and occasionally boisterous charm, and its melodramatic contrivances turn out to be more rooted in fact than one might imagine. Together with a rich score and lush, lavish and arresting visuals, this is a handsome period drama which delights the senses, stimulates the mind and casts some revealing light on a seminal event in modern history. It is a ‘must’ for all those who have not seen it, and a worthwhile and sociable re-visit for those who have.

(John Crome is in recovery from surgery. This piece draws heavily on a review by Mark Kermode in The Guardian – DG)

Doors open 7:00pm, Film 7:30 £6, Supper 9:30 £6, wine £11/bottle
Pay at the door, last bookings 1200 Sunday 15th October

Please note: if fully booked, no-shows may be charged for the film and supper

Next film: 15th November: Their Finest, tbc

Save the Date: Friday 15th December Village Hall Christmas Party