Before the Rains Image

Mixed or average reviews - based on 19 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: Set in 1930s southern India against the backdrop of a growing nationalist movement, Before the Rains is about an idealistic young Indian man who finds himself torn between his ambitions for the future and his loyalty to the past when people in his village learn of an affair between his British boss and a village woman. (Roadside Attractions) Collapse
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 19
  2. Negative: 1 out of 19
  1. Fatal culture clash, imperialist entitlement, forbidden passion between master and servant: the ingredients of the Indian director Santosh Sivan’s period piece Before the Rains may be awfully familiar, but the film lends them the force of tragedy.
  2. As scripted by Cathy Rabin and directed by Santosh Sivan, Before the Rains is never less than compelling, but never more than adequately realized.
  3. Reviewed by: Sam Toy
    While the characters sometimes feel roughly drawn, the casting is spot on.
  4. Reviewed by: Adam Bernstein
    A hodgepodge in the raj -- a predictable patchwork of forbidden romance, English arrogance, a gun given as a gift, suicide, corruption, deception, rising Indian nationalism and a short-lived chase through the jungle.
  5. Reviewed by: Ethan Gilsdorf
    The competent, at times suspenseful Before the Rains orbits us along a trajectory of innocence corrupted, domesticity infested by politics, and local tradition messed with by a powerful Westerner. Unfortunately, that trajectory feels routine.
  6. Sivan makes it all quite beautiful with verdant imagery and tastefully melodramatic direction, but at the cost of emotional and social ambiguities, not to mention living, breathing characters.
  7. 30
    The story sounds great, on paper: It''s got interracial romance and betrayal, political and ethnic violence, and a faint feminist undercurrent. But the resulting movie is so pretty and so utterly lifeless you can almost smell the embalming fluid coming off the screen.

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