Before the Rains (DVD Review)17 Aug, 2008 By: Amanda McCorquodale
Prebook 8/20/08; Street 9/16/08
Box Office $1 million
Rated 'PG-13' for violent content and a scene of sexuality.
Stars Linus Roache, Rahul Bose, Nandita Das, Jennifer Ehle.
In Before the Rains, Linus Roache ("Law and Order," Batman Begins, Wings of the Dove) plays a British spice grower living in India in the years before India declares its independence from Britain.
He has employed men from a local village to build a road to facilitate the exporting of Indian spices. He becomes romantically involved with a married woman in the village, compromising the well-being of himself and his family, the Indians he employs as well as his love-struck mistress. Tribal laws clash with the British colonial system just as local fervor for the independence of Mother India reaches a fever pitch.
Shot and directed by Santosh Sivan, who also shot Bride & Prejudice in 2004, Before the Rains is a beautiful film, presenting the awe-inspiring landscape of India with reverence and subtlety.
The doomed love story of the British grower and his Indian housekeeper is well-crafted and poignant. Rahul Bose, who plays T.K, the grower's right-hand man, delivers a valiant performance in conveying the turmoil his character experiences as he balances the British India of his employment with the local tribal culture of his family.
In the end, he holds the moral ground for the story, illustrating that neither side can be truly just until both cultural influences are recognized. Although the characters experience great loss, Before the Rains is ultimately a story of hope and the promise of a better future even during turbulent political transitions.