Belfast Telegraph

Viceroy's House review: Discord grows in 1940s India

(12A, 106 mins) HHHHH

By Damon Smith

Lord Louis Mountbatten (Hugh Bonneville) arrives in the swelter of 1947 Delhi at the behest of King George VI to replace Archie Wavell (Simon Williams) as Viceroy of India and oversee the transfer of power.

Lady Edwina Mountbatten (Gillian Anderson) and daughter Pamela (Lily Travers) also make the journey in the face of shocking reports about sectarian violence. Louis and chief of staff Lord Ismay (Michael Gambon) host the political elite including Jawaharlal Nehru (Tanveer Ghani), Muhammad Ali Jinnah (Denzil Smith) and Mahatma Gandhi (Neeraj Gabi) to debate the way forward and end the bloodshed.

Meanwhile, romance blossoms between two members of the household - Hindu servant Jeet (Manish Dayal) and Muslim sweetheart Aalia (Huma Qureshi) - who will be torn apart if partition goes ahead. Viceroy's House apportions sympathy between the central characters, including Lord Mountbatten, who is portrayed as a pawn of a distant British government that intends to implement its crude exit strategy, regardless of the repercussions.

Three stars

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