‘Before the Rains’ is an adaptation of ‘Red Roofs’ one of the three stories, from the movie ‘Yellow Asphalt’ made by the Israeli director Dany Verete in 2002. The controversial film with a sensitive and very provocative storyline is beautifully directed in his own passionate way by Santosh Sivan while the characters are brilliantly portrayed by Linus Roache, Rahul Bose, Nandita Das and Jennifer Ehle.
Set in 1937 Kerala, the movie explores different realms of human relationships, colonial exploits in India, forbidden love between a white man (Henry Moores) and his tribal housekeeper (Sajani), an ambitious tribal (T.K) who is torn between his loyalty to his English Boss and the roots to which he belongs. It is a touching movie, yet unsympathetic and none of the characters are portrayed as the protagonist.
Moores (Linus Roache), a British planter has thought of a profitable scheme for himself where he plans to build a road through the jungle that would make it easier to transport spices across faster. The authoritarian Englishman finds himself a faithful sidekick, T.K (Rahul Bose), who is loyal to his master and heeds to all his orders. T.K is a rather ambitious young man, who is torn between his own culture and the modern values that the colonial rule has inculcated in the Indian society.
In the hope of making it big in the modern world, T.K sticks to his British master and takes orders from him religiously. Moores on the other hand, taking advantage of his high status, carries on an affair with Sajani (Nandita Das), his housekeeper, a girl from the local Nair tribe. Passionate love-making is highlighted with a most amorous scene where the two are seen making love waist deep in water under a waterfall. This is also the scene where they are spotted by two young local boys.
A sudden turmoil evolves and relationships change with this discovery. Sajani being beaten up by her husband, the arrival of Moores wife (Jennifer Ehle) and T.K’s involvement in getting rid of Sajani before his boss’s wife discovers about the affair. Situations change and the faithful T.K is forced to go against his boss in an attempt to protect his own dignity.
Each character is portrayed well and the intelligent film makes its mark and puts its point across to its audience. The movie is definitely worth watching and for those who like to watch films that are way apart from the traditional crime, horror, action and lovelorn melodrama, this is a certain refresher.
Director: Santosh Sivan
Cast: Linus Roache,Rahul Bose,Nandita Das,Jennifer Ehle,Leopold Benedict
Awards: Worldfest Houston
Nominations: World Soundtrack Awards
Country: USA, UK, India