We present our interviews from the red carpet of the UK Premiere of Viceroy’s House, held yesterday evening at the at Curzon Mayfair in London.
The film stars Hugh Bonneville, Gillian Anderson, Lily Travers, Manish Dayal and Huma Qureshi, and is directed by Gurinder Chadha. It tells the story of the final Viceroy in India before its independence. Chadha’s take on the division of the Indian Empire is told through the relationship between the titular Viceroy and his wife, and the emergent love between one of their servants and his bride.
Director Gurinder Chadha spoke eloquently on the timing of the film, and the importance of learning from history.
“When we were making the film the world was a very different place. Obama was President, there was no Syrian refugee crisis, there was no talk of Brexit and there was certainly not Donald Trump as President. I can’t believe in the time it took me to make the film how much the world changed.
“It is a very pertinent story, a very relevant story for today, that’s for sure. I hope people [who see the film] take away the lessons of history – what happens when politicians use hate and division to divide us and how quickly that can change from hate to murder. I’m filled with terror when I see politicians using that across the world today. But I’m also buoyed up by the fact that so many people are standing up to that and resisting that. That’s a good thing, and that means we have learned from history.”
See the full interview, and the rest of the interviews below.
Viceroy’s House is set for release in the UK on the 3rd of March.
Viceroy’s House Premiere Interviews
Viceroy’s House in Delhi was the home of the British rulers of India. After 300 years that rule was coming to an end. For 6 months in 1947, Lord Mountbatten, great grandson of Queen Victoria, assumed the post of the last Viceroy, charged with handing India back to its people.
The film’s story unfolds within that great House. Upstairs lived Mountbatten together with his wife and daughter; downstairs lived their 500 Hindu, Muslim and Sikh servants. As the political elite – Nehru, Jinnah and Gandhi – converged on the House to wrangle over the birth of independent India, conflict erupted. A decision was taken to divide the country and create a new Muslim homeland: Pakistan. It was a decision whose consequences reverberate to this day.
The film examines these events through the prism of a marriage – that of Dickie and Edwina Mountbatten – and a romance – that between a young Hindu servant, Jeet, and his intended Muslim bride, Aalia. The young lovers find themselves caught up in the seismic end of Empire, in conflict with the Mountbattens and with their own communities, but never ever giving up hope.