Before the Rains (12A)
Time Out rating:
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Time Out says
Tue Jul 22 2008‘Before the Rains’ is a solid if unmemorable slice of culture-clash melodrama. Revisiting timeworn Merchant Ivory themes – forbidden love, cultural displacement and colonial misadventure – the film attempts to reflect the wider imperial conflict through a tightly focused story of one village and its strained relationship with its British overseers.
Linus Roache is understretched in the role of Moores, a spice planter locked in a turbulent affair with his housegirl. The more showy role goes to Rahul Bose as his disapproving manservant, TK, whose knowledge of his master’s indiscretions leads him into an ideological struggle between friendship and national identity.
The film’s main strength lies in the relationships between its characters – each make terrible but understandable decisions that lead to tragedy, but none ever appears as an outright villain. Only towards the end does this careful balance become unstuck, leading to a contrived finalé that wraps up the story without offering any satisfying emotional conclusions.
Author: Tom Huddleston