Before The Rains
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Set in exotic 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.
Set in Indias 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 Sivans 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). Sajanis marriage to an despicable Indian villager spells danger, though its not until Henrys wife, Laura (Jennifer Ehle) comes to visit that one discovers how the infidelity destroys the lives of both participants. Worst off is Henrys 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
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The problem is that we have seen and read this story before. From Rudyard Kipling's The Man who Would be King on through
A Passage to India
Jewel in the Crown
Even Merchant Ivory's movies like Heat and Dust or
the otherwise humorous Outsourced,
all come down to the same warning. East meets West, man meets woman and; to borrow from another movie: "Oh, yeah. Oooh, ahhh, that's how it always starts. Then later there's running and screaming." If you add in a pistol, make sure someone has life insurance. Chekov's gun principle rules in the theater of the British Raj.
There is a fair wrinkle in this variation of the Raj the love triangle (is it a polygon if the lovers are both also married to others?). The weight of the impending tragedy will fall on NK Neeland the Indian brains behind the Imperial British Heel, sorry this time he is just a planter. NK lives bestride the two cultures. He also has to deal with the rising Indian Independence movement. Ultimately he has to handle all of the details of his boss's love affair then handle all of its implications for the planter and for his own village.
Before the Rains is not a bad movie. If you come to this movie before most of those listed above, and have not read the dozens of variations by Kipling or WS Maugham and perhaps a dozen others, you should be able to enjoy this movie. It is performed with heart and shot in a beautiful country. If you have not seen the storyline too many times before; this can be a good entertainment.
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!
A magnificent British Colonial plantation is the main setting, but it's during a rough period of time because of the Indian Government nationalizing foreigh-owned businesses and property.
Personally, I would do anything (and I do mean anything) that Linus Roache wanted me to do, so even though the girlfriend really wasn't the goodie-goodie she seemed to be, I still would have made a deal with El Diablo to have been in her position(s) <TIC>
The intensity of all the Actors with individual agendas made this film a raging excitement from minute one (1) till the end credits rolling.
Good work Folks!!!