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Before the Rains


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Product Details

  • Actors: Linus Roache, Rahul Bose, Nandita Das, Jennifer Ehle, Leopold Benedict
  • Directors: Santosh Sivan
  • Writers: Cathy Rabin, Dan Verete
  • Producers: Amotz Zakai, Andrew Spaulding, Ashok Rao, Doug Mankoff, Howard Frumes
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Lions Gate
  • DVD Release Date: September 16, 2008
  • Run Time: 98 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001BNFR76
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #104,335 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Before the Rains" on IMDb

Special Features

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Set in southern India in the late 1930s, this provocative tale traces the story of three people caught in an inexorable web of forbidden romance and dangerous secrets. After a British spice planter (Linus Roache) falls in love with his alluring servant (Nandita Das), an idealistic young man (Rahul Bose) finds himself torn between his ambitions and his family, his village and his past. Loyalties are tested and destinies decided as two worlds collide in this powerful and unforgettable drama

Amazon.com

Set in India’s colonial past, circa 1930, Before the Rains is a period drama exploring how imbalanced socio-economic landscapes negatively affect the personal lives of those seeking to function in corrupt systems. Director Santosh Sivan’s intricate love story begins as a passion play and quickly unravels into a crime scene which has the entire police force searching for an innocent victim. Set mostly on British spice planter Henry Moores’ (Linus Roache) plantation, the viewer learns from the outset of his affair with servant Sajani (Nandita Das). Sajani’s marriage to an despicable Indian villager spells danger, though it’s not until Henry’s wife, Laura (Jennifer Ehle) comes to visit that one discovers how the infidelity destroys the lives of both participants. Worst off is Henry’s other servant, T.K. Neelan (Rahul Bose), torn as witness between covering for his employer and helping his vulnerable female neighbor. Though it is easy to sympathize with Sajani, Before the Rains does well to show Moores as a character worthy enough of redemption, as he constantly checks his moral temperature and is nearly undone by guilt. Charles Humphries (John Standing), Moores’ boss heading up plans to build a road into the village for increased production, serves as the capitalist swine, coloring Moores less oblivious to the Indian position. Aside from being a tale about the high cost of colonial endeavors, Before the Rains is a human tale of how love can be confused by what is foreign or forbidden. --Trinie Dalton

Customer Reviews

Very good acting.
sp
The photography is stunning in its scope and beauty of the wild, untamed jungles of Southern India and its intermittant sculpted tea plantations.
Janet Crystal
Away from his wife and child, this lonely British landowner has a love affair with his servant, beautiful Indian woman from a local village.
Reader

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Stephanie De Pue VINE VOICE on September 19, 2008
Format: DVD
"Before the Rains" is a recently-released, Anglo-Indian film, set in South India during the waning days of the British colonial Raj; a lovely, evocative time and place that exerts a certain fascination, still; and has been looked at by a number of British films, and several --really slow-moving---films of the Merchant-Ivory film-making school. It's exquisite to look at, while actually boasting a plot that moves right along, and stars some gorgeous people giving us a passionate, moving story of a mature interracial love affair.

Linus Roache(Batman Begins ) stars as Henry Moores, an Englishman who's big in the spice trade: he's settled on an estate in India, and hopes to build a road that would enable him to greatly expand the productivity of his plantations. The beauteous Jennifer Ehle ( Pride and Prejudice - The Special Edition (A&E, 1996)), turns in a restrained performance as his wife Laura. Rahul Bose turns in a thoughtful performance as TK Neelan, a resident of the local village, caught between his respect for the past, and his hopes for a bright English-assisted future. The always reliable veteran John Standing is Charles Humphries, a grandee of the local expat English community. And the beautiful Nandita Das is stunning as Sajani,the servant who catches Moores' eye, with disastrous results for all concerned.

Add a star if you are a particular fan of the Raj; and, whatever you do, keep the tissues handy.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By David L Hutchins VINE VOICE on September 16, 2008
Format: DVD
Beautiful scenery, an illicit love affair, a road being built up a mountain with the goal of growing spices, other than just tea. There is a lot to this movie and yet it is a not a complicated plot. An English grower is in India without his wife and falls for the beautiful house girl (played by the absolutely gorgeous and wonderful Nandita Das). The grower's wife shows up with their son and the house girl's husband finds out she is having an affair. Without spoiling the movie, it is enough to say that everyone pays a terrible price in the end for this affair. Some of the Merchant Ivory productions are slow and boring. This one keeps you wondering how it is going to turn out. The end is tragic, but there couldn't have been any other ending. The movie is a little slow in places, but never boring. Highly recommended.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Janet Crystal on January 8, 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Racial and sexual tensions run high in this tragic story of illicit love between a British planter and a village woman in 1937 India. Linus Roache is the planter who hopes to build a road before the Monsoon comes. Kandita Das is Sejani, the lovely servant woman in his house. She is married to a brutal man much older than she. He is married too - with a wife (Jennifer Ehle of Pride and Prejudice), and a young son who are visiting from England. The lovers drive into the jungle (the sacred grove) to make love. It's only a matter of time before Sejani is seen there with a man and her husband finds out.

Events start to tumble out of control as the villagers spike up their protests against British rule, which brings work on the new road to a stop. The native manservant, aware of the affair between the two lovers, becomes torn between two worlds - his own heritage and concern for Sejani - and the promise of greater prosperity in partnership with the British.

The photography is stunning in its scope and beauty of the wild, untamed jungles of Southern India and its intermittant sculpted tea plantations. An absolutely gripping tale, beautifully told!
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful By HCP on September 16, 2008
Format: DVD
I've now seen this film a couple of times in the theater. It is, hands down, one of the most beautiful and moving films I've seen in a long time. Linus Roach (of Law & Order is great) and Jennifer Ehle is one of my favorite actresses. A really great, film classic!!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Z Hayes HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 24, 2008
Format: DVD
"Before the Rains" is a sumptuous period drama set during the waning days of British imperialism in India. Most of the natives are clamoring for freedom from the colonialists yet the British carry on with their enterprises - one such enterprise is by Henry Moores [Linus Roache], a British tea planter who hopes to build a road to transport spices from the Indian state of Kerala. Moores is ably assisted by his loyal right-hand man TK [Rahul Bose] who tries to maintain a balance between two worlds, East and West, often precariously. Moores' family is back in England and from the beginning of the movie, viewers are made aware of his illicit affair with his beguiling maidservant, the married Sanjani [Nandita Das].

When a tryst between the two is discovered by two village kids, it sets off a calamitious chain of events - Moores' family [consisting of Jennifer Ehle as his wife and a young son] return only to find things have changed, Sanjani's brute of a husband tries to physically beat the truth out of her, and TK is stuck between his loyalty to Moores and his desire to do what is right. A tragic incident acts as a catalyst that propels the story towards its inevitable conclusion.

Some may feel the story is all too predictable - the 'evil' colonialist who takes advantage of the innocent local woman, the Indian assistant who wishes to straddle both worlds but finds himself not fully belonging to either one etc, but "Before the Rains" is more than that. Moores' character as played by Linus Roache does show traces of redemption, and neither is Nandita Das' Sanjani just a plain old gullible village woman. This is a woman who fully knows the repercussions of her actions and is altogether willing, albeit naive.
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