Before the Rains

Before the Rains

(2009)

In this Merchant Ivory period drama, an idealistic young Indian man is torn between the growing nationalist movement of his homeland and his desires for the future when his village learns of an affair between his British boss (Linus Roache) and a local woman. The lady in question is Nandita Das who is absolutely huge in India, making her probably the most famous actress you’ve never heard of.

Flicks Review

The team at Merchant Ivory productions is back with another entry into their ever growing catalogue of polished, classy period dramas. In many ways, this is the quintessential Merchant Ivory film – a genteel cast using an acting style more in line with theatre than film, lavish sets and a story line full of tragic entanglements. Below this cultured veneer though lies a beating heart of darkness that is unfortunately never allowed to fully express itself.... More

This is a film that ultimately loses itself in its more superficial elements. The cinematography is lush and gorgeous, particularly its depiction of the Indian countryside. However there are many more interesting story elements that the camera should have captured. Feelings such as lust, shame, guilt, greed, plus a growing nationalist movement, provide the seeds for potentially engrossing dramatic conflict but are suppressed in favour of generic melodrama. Compounding the missed opportunities is the quality of the Indian leads Rahul Bose and Nandita Das. Both are excellent and could have done justice to a more complex, involved narrative.

Before the Rains is attractive and well paced but lacks substance. Elements for a more interesting version of the story are present but frustratingly ignored.Hide


The Peoples' Reviews

Average ratings from 3 ratings, 3 reviews
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beautiful scenery and a wasted opportunity. What a let down. The white guy got what he so deserved - a huge cliche.


BY Diedi superstar

I love India and Linus Roache but thought this movie lightweight and predictable.


What a disappointment! If you've ever seen a movie about with a 'colonial' theme, then you've seen this one. Nothing fresh or interesting (other than the AMAZING scenery). Easy to figure out every "plot twist" before it came.


The Press Reviews

49% of critics recommend.
Rotten Tomatoes Score. More reviews on Rotten Tomatoes

  • Whatever its scripted shortcomings, this is still a hugely enjoyable film with plenty on its mind. The locations and cinematography are ravishing, and the emotions are as turbulent as a monsoon sky. Before the Rains is no Passage to India, but it definitely has its moments. Full Review

  • While the characters sometimes feel roughly drawn, the casting is spot on. Full Review

  • Fatal culture clash, imperialist entitlement, forbidden passion between master and servant: the ingredients of the Indian director Santosh Sivan’s period piece “Before the Rains” may be awfully familiar, but the film lends them the force of tragedy. Full Review

  • Drama of adultery in 1937 Kerala is ravishingly gorgeous but lacks conviction. Full Review

  • The emotionally charged mysteries of his breakthrough feature, "The Terrorist," have given way to laborious narrative convention in Indian helmer Santosh Sivan's latest, English-lingo period meller "Before the Rains." Tale of an idealistic local caught in the crossfire of an illicit affair is too pat and pretty to connect... Full Review

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