In Brief: Awful. A just simply awful movie about an Indian rebellion against the British and the British East India Company in 1858.
This is a movie deals with the struggle of the people of India for freedom from British oppression and British rule. It’s set in 1858 when Queen Victoria ruled the British Empire. Rebellion is in the air and the queen wonders why.
The why is an uprising by Jani, the Queen of Jhansi. When her husband died — and since they didn’t have what the British considered a legitimate heir — the British government and the British East India Company — were going to take over her part of the country.
Jani rebelled and that rebellion led to the eventual end of the company. This movie is the story of how she forced those events, saw the company get the ire of Queen Victoria and while not officially winning the war, her people actually won.
It’s too bad the movie doesn’t win. It’s directed by Indian actress Swati Bhise — who stars in the upcoming movie A New Christmas — and stars Devika Bhise as Rani Lakshmibai. The British villains are played by Rupert Everett, Derek Jacobi and Nathanial Parker.
The former are fairly pathetic cliches of those who shaped policy and enforced policy in India. The worst is Parker who is totally over-the-top as the villainous company man Sir Robert Hamilton. He is so laughably bad that it’s hard to take him seriously.
Blame a very poorly written script. Swati and Devika are mother and daughter. I have no experience with the former’s acting but did see Devika in this movie. She’s gorgeous, charismatic and a decent actress. Neither she — nor her mother — are very good at writing dialogue, or at writing a movie that has reasonably good continuity.
Much of that blame lies with Swati.
This is a terrible movie done on a shoe-string budget. The effects are terrible and the battle scenes laughable. And if you find yourself laughing at that then you’ll be doing barrel laughs at the dialogue.
A better idea would have been to consider doing this as documentary and then getting a change of mind.
Director: Swati Bhise
Stars: Devika Bhise, Jodhi May, Rupert Everett, Derek Jacobi, Ben Lamb. Nathanial Parker
Rated R for some violence and mature themes. This is awful with a capital A. Badly acted and badly filmed. Give this a 1 on the Friday Flicks with Gary o to 5 scale.
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Gary Wolcott has been reviewing movies on radio, television and newspaper since 1990. He believes — and this is an estimate only — that he’s seen something close to 10,000 movies in his lifetime. Gary is a lifelong fan of films and catches a couple of hundred movies a year. He believes movies ought to be seen on the big screen and not on the small screen in your living room or family room. While he loves movies, he also says reviewing film can be a real sacrifice and that he sees many movies so you don’t have to.
He is one of KXL 101.1 FM’s film critics and joined the news staff in 2014. Gary is also the film critic for Tri-Cities, Washington’s Tri-City Herald.