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4.0 out of 5 stars89
4.0 out of 5 stars
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on 25 January 2010
I knew nothing about 'Before the Rains' before I saw it and wasn't expecting much given the fairly mixed reviews it's garnered. Have I just watched the same film? Because this is nothing short of brilliant. The photography is stunning, the acting is superb, the direction is faultless, and the story had me absolutely gripped from start to finish. This is a wholly believable tragedy which slowly and carefully builds from a languidly beautiful love story into a broodingly menacing thriller as the characters grapple with the consequences their actions. And, like all great films, the direction and acting are so good that you quickly start believing these people are real and, as a result, genuinely care about what happens to them.

One scene in particular sums up just how good it is: the wife confronts the husband and, as the impact of what's going on dawns on her, the focus in the shot subtly switches from his face to hers with no camera movement. Nothing much in that you might say but it made the hairs on my neck stand on end precisely because it captures, simply in the nuance of her expression and the way that it's drawn into focus, the horror that she would feel at that precise moment... cinema doesn't get much better. Quite simply one of the best films I've seen.
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on 12 November 2009
This must be one of the most beautiful films I have seen in ages and has become one of my top ten favourite films. The scenery is stunning and the story becomes a very visual journey almost intermingled with nature. It is set in the 1930's, when Britain is losing it's hold and popularity in India. British spice baron Henry Moores (Linus Roache) begins a passionate affair with his servant Sajani. When his wife and son arrive in India though, things become complicated. Don't want to spoil the story but there follows jealousy, death and atonement. The whole love affair and deception becomes intermingled with the resentment of the British in India, so it is quite thought provoking as regards the Raj and it's demise. Linus Roache gives a superb performance as a man who wants it all and doesn't foresee the consequences as everything spirals out of control and he stumbles from one disaster to another. Pacewise, it is similar to other Merchant Ivory films and is very like The Painted Veil another beautiful film. It won't be everyone's cup of tea, but if you like a scenic film with a sprinkling of action and some depth to it, then you will enjoy this.
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on 22 January 2013
A classic tale of a mixed race relationship (The World of Suzie Wong, A Many Splenoured Thing etc etc) but set in a backwoods village.
Portrays rural life as I observed it not too long ago. Family relationships under strain, revenge, corruption, all good stuff and well worth watching.
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VINE VOICEon 2 December 2010
Having spent 7 years growing up in South India, I was still impressed with how beautiful Santosh Sivan made the hills look. The cinematography is really good and will make you want to visit that part of India.

The acting is on a whole also very good, with Rahul Bose putting in a solid performance, as usual. Each character is believable in their role.

Sadly, the storyline is predictable and therefore the films tends to drag because you can see what is going to happen before it actually does.

But there are really two ways to watch this film. One to just watch the surface story which, is predictable and a little staid. Or you could read between the lines and discuss the bigger picture - i.e. British Raj in India, morality, loyalty and so on.

A great film for a ladies night in, if you are willing to discuss the bigger picture. Definitely avoid if you are wanting a romantic evening!

Hope that helps.
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on 27 April 2014
A rewarding experience for many reasons including the beautiful cinematography, actors, script, et al.
The film is directed by long time cinematographer Santosh Sivan who worked from behind the camera, which is quite rare for a director but it shows in the breathtaking photography. His eye for detail and camera moves is perfect, but he also along with co-script writer Cathy Rabin, never goes for the cheap shot or obvious emotional triggers. The characters are allowed to be real and complex. It would be easy to say that Linus is the villain but it is done so well that the character shows the conflict he feels about his lover and best friend. This is adult cinema at its finest. I am surprised that the film didn't win more awards and lead to Santosh Sivan making a lot more films.
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on 25 March 2015
Before the Rains is no match, on any level, for Jewel in the Crown. Every plot twist in Rains is predictable, as is its storyline as a whole. Nor does the acting measure up to any of the Jewel's cast. Rains is a mediocrity, without redeeming features. All of the characters are one-dimensional and flat, with the exception of the female protagonist.
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on 27 February 2013
This is an interesting film because it griped me from beginning to end. It is well written, well acted and very well directed. I love the scenes of South India and the way the film plot keeps you on your toes to the very end. Well worth buying.
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on 12 September 2010
This is an excellent film, very well done and very thought provoking. A white Englishman, during the Raj days while his wife is in Engalnd, falls in love with a lovely Indian young woman who is one his staff at home. She is being brutally treated by her husband and finds solace with the white man. Inevitably, it all falls apart ending in tragedy. One may ask the question, why did he fall for her knowing the custom of the country? Yet love knows no bounds and in this case overrules reason. Beautifully filmed and taken slowly allowing each event to sink in. Shall watch it again soon.
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on 23 July 2011
When I saw this title, though I hadnt heard of it before, I thought this could be a good love story, no it isnt, not really, the potential it could have had!!!! , would have made a fantastic story, but it was so lacking. It could have shown alot more about the culture but only hits on it a little bit. There could be so much more to this story, it is even lacking in the passion as well. The acting was fairly good, but for me it was a little disappointing just an ok film. Fortunaltly it was a cheap copy and so not lost out too much.
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on 16 January 2013
If your looking for a gushy movie in the style of Bollywood ,look away now this is not a typical love story infact its not a love story at all without giving much away. I dont understand the poor reviews the scenery is stunning and the story really communicates colonialism as well as the customs and beliefs in 1930's India.
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