Indo-British filmmaker, Gurinder Chaddha, recently revealed that her next film will be based on the life of Mata Hari and it will be set in 1943 in an espionage plot. She was at the ongoing Berlin International Film Festival to showcase her new film ‘Viceroy’s House’ when she made the statement.
‘Viceroy’s House’ is set during the Indo-Pak partition time of 1947. The movie stars the late Om Puri and Huma Qureshi and has music by A R Rehman. It will be dubbed in Hindi by Reliance and will be released in both Hindi and English at the same time in India and perhaps in Pakistan too.
“With this ambitious account of the backstage manipulation and human cost of Partition, Gurinder Chaddha tackles a bigger canvas than previously made. She meets the challenge with flair – Viceroy’s House, with its jostling below-stairs tensions and colonial gamesmanship is an accessible blend of a Merchant Ivory period piece with the political edge of Amma Assante’s ‘A United Kingdom’. The contrast between the brittle propriety of the British social events and the simmering tensions at an Indian engagement party is nicely handled,” a screen review said about the movie, reported HT.
It added, “A Hindu-Muslim romance at the heart of the story is too neatly schematic to fully persuade as anything other than a narrative device, but the use of the microcosm of the last Viceroy’s household staff as a window into the broader tensions facing India is effective.”
The script of this movie is written by Farrukh Dhondy. Chaddha is of the view that history may be well known by the people, but the movie shows it from a very different angle.
“The whole of the sub-continent waits to see how Mountbatten will manage the transition. And through the five hundred or so household staff, a mix of Hindu, Muslim and Sikh, we see the tensions that threaten to wrench the country apart played out on a small scale. On the front line is Jeet, who is reunited with the Muslim girl he fell in love with two years previously. Aalia (Huma Qureshi), who also works closely with the Mountbatten family, is torn between her love for Jeet and her sense of duty to her blind father (the late Om Puri)… The score, by AR Rahman, is also impressive – the sturdy Western orchestral motifs gradually give way to wistful Indian influences as the date for independence draws closer.”
Picture credit- Alchetron