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The Star of India

The Star of India

Großbritannien/Indien 2017 - with Hugh Bonneville, Gillian Anderson, Manish Dayal, Huma Qureshi, Michael Gambon ...

The Frankfurt-Tipp rating:

Movie info

Original title:Viceroy`s House
Genre:Drama, Romance
Direction:Gurinder Chadha
Cinema release:10.08.2017
Production country:Großbritannien/Indien 2017
Running time:Approx. 107 min
Rated:Age 6+

1947: Lord Mountbatten (Hugh Bonneville) is sent to Delhi with his wife, Edwina (Gillian Anderson), to be viceroy of the British crown colony to independence. It's a difficult process that causes considerable unrest in the country. While Mountbatten tries to make the right decisions to prevent the Lange from escalating, in the palace the young Hindu Jeet (Manish Dayal) meets his great love, the beautiful Muslim Aalia (Huma Qureshi), again. Their love seems to have no future, however, as a union between members of opposing religions is out of the question. When Mountbatten announces the decision that the new states of India and Pakistan are to be formed, what he had hoped to avoid happens: serious riots break out, which also threaten to separate Jeet and Aalia forever.

In The Star of India, Indian-British director Gurinder Chadha (Frontal Snogging, Kick it like Beckham) traces the dramatic circumstances of India's partition after World War II. It is, as the credits reveal, a very personal story for the filmmaker, and she tells it with a certain lightness and dry humour at the beginning, before events become increasingly dramatic and the film more emotionally stirring. It's an opulent and very beautifully filmed work, but it struggles with some very dry and almost inconsequential moments, especially at the beginning.

For a story that is driven by diplomatic negotiations for long stretches, it would have done the script some good if the dialogue had been written a little more cleverly and with a little more wit. As it is, the whole thing seems a bit too matter-of-fact to be really captivating. You have to bite your way through it a bit until the whole extent of the events becomes clear. But then the movie succeeds very well in gripping and touching its audience. Surely, some of the moments between Jeet and Aalia seem a little bit obvious. But here, thankfully, Chadha finds the right tone to present them in a very moving way nonetheless.

The actors are convincing throughout, even if Gillian Anderson (The X-Files) in particular remains a little pale and rarely really lives up to her potential. But supported by a really great set and some very intense moments, such small weaknesses actually hardly matter. The Star of India is, apart from a few lengths, a really moving, interesting and towards the end also stirring film, which on balance absolutely deserves a worth seeing!

An article by Frankfurt-Tipp


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Cinema trailer for the movie "The Star of India (Großbritannien/Indien 2017)"
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