Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Last Viceroy

One of my favorite Masterpiece Theater productions is The Jewel in the Crown, a beautiful adaptation of Paul Scott's Raj Quartet. It tells the story of India's independence from Britain and the bloody upheaval of partition through the eyes of British colonials living there. Lord Mountbatten: the last viceroy looks at the same events from the perspective of the people shaping them: Viceroy Lord Mountbatten, Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and Muhammad Ali Jinnah. While The Jewel in the Crown was a soap opera with an historical backdrop, Lord Mountbatten is an historical drama with an underlying love triangle. The acting is great, and the scenery - India, how could you go wrong? - is stunning. Nicol Williamson does a wonderful job portraying a Lord Mountbatten as dedicated to duty, concerned about the welfare of the Indian people, and a brilliant negotiator (this is, after all, a British production. Whether Mountbatten really was such a wonderful person I will leave to individual viewer discretion). Sir Ian Richardson (House of Cards) is so charismatic and handsome as Nehru that I can easily understand Lady Mountbatten's fascination with him. Overall, this is a solid, well-done miniseries that retells a very interesting piece of history. Perfect for all BBC devotees, history buffs, and Ian Richardson fans.

1 comment:

LisaH said...

Yes, it was a wonderful series and something you didn't mention, was the music which I thought complimented it really well.
Ian Richardson was outstanding as Nehru and conveyed his feelings towards Edwina so strongly, despite the restrictions that had been placed by the Indian Government upon an overt love affair being shown.