Entertainment & Arts

Gurinder Chadha says Viceroy's House 'subverts' genre

Gurinder Chadha Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Gurinder Chadha's film Bend It Like Beckham also became a West End musical

Film-maker Gurinder Chadha says her new film "subverts the genre" of movies about the British Raj.

Viceroy's House, a period drama about the partition of India, stars Hugh Bonneville and Gillian Anderson as Lord and Lady Mountbatten.

Chadha shot the film last year in the Indian city of Jodhpur.

She hopes it will be released in cinemas to coincide with the 70th anniversary of partition in 2017.

"I'm so pleased with it," Chadha told the BBC. "It's proper epic. It'll be the first British Raj film made by a British Indian.

"It looks and feels like a British Raj movie but people suddenly start saying things and you think 'hold on - I've not had that perspective before'. It slightly subverts the genre."

Made with backing from BBC Films, Pathe and the BFI, the cast also includes Simon Callow, Manish Dayal, Sir Michael Gambon, Om Puri, Huma Qureshi and Lily Travers.

Chadha, best known as the writer and director of Bend It Like Beckham, hopes to finish editing the film this summer.

She said the story shows the Mountbattens as they work out the details of Indian independence alongside a love story about a Hindu who is in love with a Muslim translator teaching the Mountbattens' daughter.

"It's also based on my family who were all refugees in 1947," Chadha said.

"I'm Punjabi and my ancestral home is now Pakistan - so it's a very personal story about my grandma and my uncles and aunts who were all refugees at that time."

Mountbatten served as the last Viceroy of India, overseeing the British withdrawal.

On 15 August 1947 British India was partitioned into the new states of India and Pakistan, resulting in widespread inter-communal violence.

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