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Before The Rains [DVD] 
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Santosh Sivan directs this lavishly-filmed drama set in 1930s southern India against the backdrop of a growing nationalist movement. Linus Roache stars as Henry Moores, an English spice grower who begins an ill-advised affair with his beautiful Indian housemaid, Sajani (Nandita Das), while his wife, Laura (Jennifer Ehle), and young son are away in England. A tragic chain of events is set in motion when the affair is discovered. Rahul Bose co-stars as TK, an idealistic young villager who finds himself torn between his progressive visions for the future and his loyalty to past traditions as he witnesses events unfold.
Set in India’s colonial past, circa 1930, Before the Rains is a period drama exploring how imbalanced socio-economic landscapes negatively affect the personal lives of those seeking to function in corrupt systems. Director Santosh Sivan’s intricate love story begins as a passion play and quickly unravels into a crime scene which has the entire police force searching for an innocent victim. Set mostly on British spice planter Henry Moores’ (Linus Roache) plantation, the viewer learns from the outset of his affair with servant Sajani (Nandita Das). Sajani’s marriage to an despicable Indian villager spells danger, though it’s not until Henry’s wife, Laura (Jennifer Ehle) comes to visit that one discovers how the infidelity destroys the lives of both participants. Worst off is Henry’s other servant, T.K. Neelan (Rahul Bose), torn as witness between covering for his employer and helping his vulnerable female neighbor. Though it is easy to sympathize with Sajani, Before the Rains does well to show Moores as a character worthy enough of redemption, as he constantly checks his moral temperature and is nearly undone by guilt. Charles Humphries (John Standing), Moores’ boss heading up plans to build a road into the village for increased production, serves as the capitalist swine, coloring Moores less oblivious to the Indian position. Aside from being a tale about the high cost of colonial endeavors, Before the Rains is a human tale of how love can be confused by what is foreign or forbidden. --Trinie DaltonSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
He is ingenious,infectiously risky and yet demurely subtle in his parable of forbidden love portrayed in shades of adultery and lust,set against the backdrop of racial bigotry .
Adultery and colonialism here are the driving force in the narrative and he is able to discuss his themes in an adult affair with a stylish flair, but there are gaps in the narrative and the characters falter at times as the script is not fully developed .
whether it is 'Sharukh khan' in 'ashoka' or the tamil 'terrorist', which discussed root causes of terror in a very subtle manner -his protagonists always possess a passion for their beliefs and a penchant for life which is exuberant and semantic and reflect as metaphors for contemporary themes,but here he is not fully endorsed to his own characters .
Kerala in 1937 was a hornet's nest with the Independence struggle for colonial India interwined with interracial adultery and the tight knit script is sophisticated though it has is not revolutionary as you would expect of mister sivan ,as this sensitive issue could have been much better written by Sivan himself .
Love and guilt are replaced by lust and crime and racial bigotry as the' ultimate metaphor' for a cultural clash where marital disharmony is juxtaposed here for an adulterous affair.Read more ›