The story of the final days of the British Empire in India is making its way to theaters this March in “Viceroy’s House.” Based on a true story, the film is directed by Gurinder Chadha and stars Gillian Anderson as Lady Mountbatten and Hugh Bonneville as Lord Mountbatten. The first trailer was released by Pathe, which you can check out below.
Set in Viceroy’s House in Delhi, the home of British rulers of India, the film is deeply personal to Chadha, whose own family was caught up in the tragic events that unfolded as British rule came to an end. The story follows Lord Mountbatten (Bonneville), great grandson of Queen Victoria, who for six month in 1947 assumed the post of the last Viceroy, charged with handing India back to its people. His family lived upstairs, while downstairs lived their 500 Hindu, Muslim and Sikh servants.
Per the synopsis, “As the political elite – Nehru, Jinnah and Gandhi – converged on the House to wrangle over the birth of independent India, conflict erupted. A decision was taken to divide the country and create a new Muslim homeland: Pakistan. It was a decision whose consequences reverberate to this day.”
“New nations are rarely born in peace,” says Bonneville in the trailer.
The film also chronicles a forbidden romance between a young Hindu servant, Jeet (Manish Dayal), and a soon-to-be-wed Muslim bride, Aalia (Huma Qureshi). Lily Travers, Michael Gambon Om Puri, Tanveer Ghani, Denzil Smith, Neeraj Kabi and Simon Callow co-star.
The script is written by Chadha, Paul Mayeda Berges and Moira Buffini and produced by Deepak Nayar, Chadha and Mayeda Berges. Executive producers include Pathé’s Cameron McCracken, Reliance’s Shibasish Sarkar, BBC Films’ Christine Langan, the British Film Institute’s Natascha Wharton and Ingenious Media’s Tim O’Shea.
“Viceroy’s House” will be released in the UK on March 3 to coincide with the 70th anniversary of the Independence of India and the founding of Pakistan. Check out the trailer below.