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Before the Rains

Passion has its price.

Santosh Sivan's The Terrorist (1999) was as memorable for its lush imagery as for its nerve-racking immediacy, and he brings the same visual opulence to Before the Rains. It's no surprise the veteran cinematographer's eighth film as a director - and his first in English - bears the Merchant-Ivory imprimatur: It takes place at the end of the Raj, among people in a colonial quandary. But Sivan's melodrama is less about "MI"-style character than metaphor: Henry (Linus Roache), a well-off Englishman in the spice trade, is balancing business with an on-site affair with his married Indian housemaid (Nandita Das), for whom Henry means the world. It is not reciprocal. Tragedy ensues. But what the movie is really about is T.K. (Rahul Bose), Henry's western-educated aide-de-camp, who is torn between loyalty to his employer and to his culture. The film is well-acted, a broad colonial allegory, and again, visually gorgeous. - John Anderson, Newsday
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Directed by: 
Santosh Sivan
Running Time: 
Malayalam | English
Linus Roache, Rahul Bose, Nandita Das, Jennifer Ehle, John Standing
Screenplay by: 
Cathy Rabin based on 2001 film "Asphalt Zahov" by Dan Verete

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