In-depth review for the story based on the happening of Indo-Pak Partition, directed by Gurinder Chadha
By Amol S. Malkar - August 17, 2017
Cast: Huma Qureshi,Manish Dayal,Om Puri,Hugh Bonneville,Gillian Anderson,Denzil Smith,Darshan Jariwala,Samrat Chakrabarti,Neeraj Kabi,Sarah Jane Dias,Tanveer Ghani
Director: Gurinder Chadha
It is a heartfelt period drama which depicts the factors that eventually lead to cause Indo-Pak Partition, the most smeared even in the human history!
Positives Points: Non-documentary narration, heartfelt performances and well used of old archive footages in the narration!
Negatives Points: The grittiness could have been more elevated without demeaning niche of narration!
The Partition 1947 is a period drama set in the era of pre-independent India. The story or we say stories revolve around the last Viceroy of India, Lord Mountbatten, in the last days of British reign on India. Apparently, Lord Mountbatten was assigned by Queen Victoria to settle don’t the chaos caused by the friction in people belonging to many religions. British rule wished to change the conditions for the better before they handed over their charge to the newly formed democracy and this responsibility was helmed to Lord Louis Mountbatten (Hugh Bonneville)
The film also follows the love story of Jeet (Manish Dayal) and Aalia (Huma Qureshi), who met again in the Viceroy’s house, which further rekindle their old flames of love which took place in the Lahore few years ago, when Jeet helped Aalia to meet and provide amenities to her then imprisoned blind father Rahim Noot (Om Puri). Their story progresses, they were too victimized by the tumultuous impact of Indo-Pak partition! Both stories of Last Viceroy and Jeet and Aalia go parallel while depicting the gruesome tragedies during the time of independence!
The film does its job in portraying political revelations of British rule and Viceroy’ point of view, the turmoil felt during formation of new democracy if the British rule left the country, hinting the reasons why Indian political front was sore towards Lord Mountbatten’s noble efforts hand over freedom the news Indian deserves without any bloodshed and most importantly the grim reality of the partition! The narration of the film takes no time to take you to that era and make you feel connected to the plot of the film and well for the people who were going through that struggle!
Though it is a spoiler, Partition: 1947 is a passion project for the director Gurinder Chadha, which will be revealed before credits will start rolling! It now makes sense as for why she chose such different subject to make a film than here typical film trajectory! And in the task of justifying the subject is done well! Rather than focusing entirely on historical happening and making it look like a documentary, she put emphasis on character development and revelation, which put our audience in their place and feel what they were going through. Applaud also goes for not overdoing narration with the only color of patriotism.
In most historic period dramas, elaborate and detailed set pieces and plotlines just provide a setting, it’s the actors and their performance that makes a film an experience to watch. And performances by every actor in the cast make it so compelling to watch, even for just 106 minutes in the theatre. Before talking about the lead characters, some of the notable performance by Denzil Smith, Darshan Jariwala, Samrat Chakrabarti, Sarah-Jane Dias, Neeraj Kabi, Tanveer Ghani were just remarkable and essential to the storyline!
Speaking of lead actors, Hugh Bonneville and Gillian Anderson were flawless throughout the frames and one can really gravitate for the characters they have played. There were many scenes where you can relate to Lord Mountbatten when he shares the pain and regrets with those who were directly affected by the flames of partition. Though performance by Huma Qureshi and Arunoday Singh were less impressive and even lackluster in many scenes!
But Manish Dayal is the one actor who takes the cake and wins the audience! As you can be literally be-taken through the character transitions, as the story progress and impresses you when the effects of the partition hit Jeet harder. The one intense scene with Lord Mountbatten in the second half of the scene quite evident of the kind of performance he gave in this film. Even his chemistry with Huma Qureshi does give a passionate glimpse of revived love!
Though most of the music aspect is used as background score, which was composed by Academy award winner A. R. Rahman, which helps elevates the narration at the point of poignancy and the track Do Dilon Ke, sung by Shreya Ghoshal and Hariharan, gives it a perfect climax the story needed!
Much like a Background score, most of the technical aspect was optimum but also could have been better! And the particular which could be improved was a lack of grittier tone to the grime moments in the story. And even lack of scenes depicting outer resistance and happening could have been used, but it is justified as director wished to keep narrative focus in what was happening in Viceroy’ house than other things. One more aspect of this film is the used of old archive footage of that era, which aggregately makes it an experience!
Partition: 1947 does offer different perspective and insights to what already been taught to us about revelations of the time of Independence of India and Indo-Pak partition, in the less documenting way!
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