Streaming on Netflix is the Viceroy’s House, a little historical gem for those interested in a bit of history you may not know. Released in September of 2017, it focuses on the 70th anniversary of Indian independence from British rule.
If you didn’t realize, at one time Britain ruled a quarter of the world, coining the term, “The sun never sets on the British empire.” For any of you history buffs, I highly recommend watching BBC’s EMPIRE that aired in 2012. I found it on YouTube and it consists of five episodes in documentary form. Fantastic series. You probably should check other streaming services too.
Okay, back to the Viceroy’s House. Bit by bit Britain’s empire shrunk worldwide as countries they dominated won their freedom. In 1947, a new Viceroy arrives, Lord Mountbatten played by Hugh Bonneville, to oversee the transition of power. His wife and daughters accompany him. Unfortunately, India is in religious turmoil, filled with violence, and no one has an idea how to bring the fighting factions together which consisted of Hindus, Sikhs, and Muslims. It is a sad state of affairs.
Unable to bring about the peace needed after much negotiation, Britain decides to split the country into two – India and Pakistan, which gives the Muslims their own country in Pakistan. The result is absolute chaos as millions of people partition to either side. The movie’s romantic undertones are between a Hindu and Muslim who fall in love and struggle with the impossible situation of being together.
Naturally, the story is filled with negotiations from all the factions involved, including Gandhi’s bid for a unified India that falls on deaf ears. To mitigate further deaths and violence, Britain decides to move ahead with the partition. It leaves an unimaginable 11.2 million displaced persons in a massive population exchange.
It’s an interesting movie that looks into a critical time in history. If you’re into these types of stories, I recommend you check this one out for educational purposes. Of course, at the end, it leaves you scratching your head over why we can’t just live in peace with each other regardless of our faiths.