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Before the Rains
Before the Rains
Actors: Linus Roache, Rahul Bose, Nandita Das, Jennifer Ehle, Leopold Benedict
Director: Santosh Sivan
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
PG-13     2008     1hr 38min

Set in southern India in the late 1930s, this provocative tale traces the story of three people caught in an inexorable web of forbidden romance and dangerous secrets. After a British spice planter (Linus Roache) falls in...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Linus Roache, Rahul Bose, Nandita Das, Jennifer Ehle, Leopold Benedict
Director: Santosh Sivan
Creators: Amotz Zakai, Andrew Spaulding, Ashok Rao, Doug Mankoff, Howard Frumes, Cathy Rabin, Dan Verete
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
Studio: Lions Gate
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Closed-captioned,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 09/16/2008
Release Year: 2008
Run Time: 1hr 38min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Languages: English
Subtitles: English, Spanish

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Movie Reviews

Beautiful but Tragic
David L Hutchins | Mesa, AZ | 09/17/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Beautiful scenery, an illicit love affair, a road being built up a mountain with the goal of growing spices, other than just tea. There is a lot to this movie and yet it is a not a complicated plot. An English grower is in India without his wife and falls for the beautiful house girl (played by the absolutely gorgeous and wonderful Nandita Das). The grower's wife shows up with their son and the house girl's husband finds out she is having an affair. Without spoiling the movie, it is enough to say that everyone pays a terrible price in the end for this affair. Some of the Merchant Ivory productions are slow and boring. This one keeps you wondering how it is going to turn out. The end is tragic, but there couldn't have been any other ending. The movie is a little slow in places, but never boring. Highly recommended."
Awesome Movie
HCP | New York | 09/16/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I've now seen this film a couple of times in the theater. It is, hands down, one of the most beautiful and moving films I've seen in a long time. Linus Roach (of Law & Order is great) and Jennifer Ehle is one of my favorite actresses. A really great, film classic!!"
In a Lovely, Evocative Time and Place
Stephanie DePue | Carolina Beach, NC USA | 09/19/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

""Before the Rains" is a recently-released, Anglo-Indian film, set in South India during the waning days of the British colonial Raj; a lovely, evocative time and place that exerts a certain fascination, still; and has been looked at by a number of British films, and several --really slow-moving---films of the Merchant-Ivory film-making school. It's exquisite to look at, while actually boasting a plot that moves right along, and stars some gorgeous people giving us a passionate, moving story of a mature interracial love affair.

Linus Roache(Batman Begins ) stars as Henry Moores, an Englishman who's big in the spice trade: he's settled on an estate in India, and hopes to build a road that would enable him to greatly expand the productivity of his plantations. The beauteous Jennifer Ehle ( Pride and Prejudice - The Special Edition (A&E, 1996)), turns in a restrained performance as his wife Laura. Rahul Bose turns in a thoughtful performance as TK Neelan, a resident of the local village, caught between his respect for the past, and his hopes for a bright English-assisted future. The always reliable veteran John Standing is Charles Humphries, a grandee of the local expat English community. And the beautiful Nandita Das is stunning as Sajani,the servant who catches Moores' eye, with disastrous results for all concerned.

Add a star if you are a particular fan of the Raj; and, whatever you do, keep the tissues handy.

"No one gets lost on a straight road"
z hayes | TX | 10/25/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

""Before the Rains" is a sumptuous period drama set during the waning days of British imperialism in India. Most of the natives are clamoring for freedom from the colonialists yet the British carry on with their enterprises - one such enterprise is by Henry Moores [Linus Roache], a British tea planter who hopes to build a road to transport spices from the Indian state of Kerala. Moores is ably assisted by his loyal right-hand man TK [Rahul Bose] who tries to maintain a balance between two worlds, East and West, often precariously. Moores' family is back in England and from the beginning of the movie, viewers are made aware of his illicit affair with his beguiling maidservant, the married Sanjani [Nandita Das].

When a tryst between the two is discovered by two village kids, it sets off a calamitious chain of events - Moores' family [consisting of Jennifer Ehle as his wife and a young son] return only to find things have changed, Sanjani's brute of a husband tries to physically beat the truth out of her, and TK is stuck between his loyalty to Moores and his desire to do what is right. A tragic incident acts as a catalyst that propels the story towards its inevitable conclusion.

Some may feel the story is all too predictable - the 'evil' colonialist who takes advantage of the innocent local woman, the Indian assistant who wishes to straddle both worlds but finds himself not fully belonging to either one etc, but "Before the Rains" is more than that. Moores' character as played by Linus Roache does show traces of redemption, and neither is Nandita Das' Sanjani just a plain old gullible village woman. This is a woman who fully knows the repercussions of her actions and is altogether willing, albeit naive. TK as credibly portrayed by Rahul Bose shows us the inner conflict in a man who believes in unity between the colonialists and Indians, yet finds that in the end, he does need to make a choice - as his father tells him "No one gets lost on a straight road".

The cinematography is achingly beautiful [not surprising given that the director Santosh Sivan is a successful one himself] and the score is haunting -it captures the beauty of Kerala [which happens to be one of the most beautiful states in Southern India] in all its resplendent glory. All in all, I'd recommend this to those who love period dramas, and also fans of Merchant-Ivory productions."