Before The Rains
It is the1930’s in the state of Kerala in the south west of India. Moores has a plantation and has a vision to build a road through the jungle. This would enable spices from his plantation to be tranported to foreign lands. This in turn would see his dream of his empire growing and his wealth with it.
His very loyal, English educated manservant, T.K., has the skills to enable him to get the building of the road underway, along with a loan from the Bank. T.K. is from the local village so his connection with the village people, along with his knowledge of the terrain and the skills from his British education see the project take off.
The army of village labourers toil away, hacking down trees and digging the road, in an almost slave labour fashion, make great progress on the road which needs to be completed before the monsoon season. The manner in which T.K. has the road winding through the hills should ensure it withstanding the heavy monsoon rains.
Moores’s housekeeper is Sajani, a beautiful local from the village who is locked into a violent arranged marriage. They have been engaged in a passionate love affair.
Despite his declarations of his love for Sajani their relationship has to be hidden not just because of her marriage and cultural standing in the village, but also with the return of Moores wife and son from England.
Domestic life returns for Sajani and the Moores. A series of tragic events occurs.
T.K.’s relationship with Moore is seriously tested. With Moore’s arrogance, lies and reliance on T.K. one cannot help but feel the betrayal and pressure T.K. is feeling. He is torn between the colonial world he has been exposed to and feels is the way for the future and the cultural traditions of his village and ancestors. The independence movement to break away from the British is gathering momentum.
As Director Santosh Sivan has explained “though the characters in the film fight to straddle the great cultural divide, they ultimately suffer for their attempts”.
Reviewed by: Linda McGlynns
Starring: Linus Roache, Rahul Bose, Nandita Das, Jennifer Ehle, Leopold Benedict
Directed by: Santosh Sivan
Duration: 1hr 38mins
Rating: M – Contains medium level violence