It’s 1947 and British colonial rule in India is coming to an end. Queen Victoria’s great-grandson Lord Mountbatten (Hugh Bonneville) moves with his wife (Gillian Anderson) and daughter for six months into the Viceroy’s House in Delhi. As the last viceroy it’s his task to oversee the country’s transition to independence.
Soon, violence erupts between Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs, which also affects the 500 staff working at the viceroy’s palace. The love between Jeet, a young Hindu servant, and Aalia, a Muslim woman working at the palace, is in danger of being engulfed by the tumultuous events and their own conflicts with their respective religious communities. When the situation escalates they are forced to make a momentous decision.
Seventy years ago the country was partitioned into Muslim Pakistan and secular India. In her historical drama, director Gurinder Chadha (BEND IT LIKE BECKHAM, HIFF 2002), whose own family was caught up in the tragic events after the end of the British Empire, examines the political background to what occurred. What role did Lord Mountbatten and his wife play? And how did the negotiations go among the political elite – Nehru, Jinnah and Gandhi – when they met at the Viceroy’s House and quarreled over the path to independence?
Synopsis written by: Anderson Le