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.
BY Andreas Heinemann Flicks Writer
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