Viceroy's House

Synopsis: New Dehli in March 1947. The huge and stately Viceroy's Palace is like a beehive. Its five hundred employees are busy preparing the coming of Lord Louis Mountbatten, who has just been appointed new (and last) viceroy of India by prime minister Clement Attlee. Mountbatten, whose difficult task consists in overseeing the transition of British India to independence, arrives at the Palace, accompanied by his Edwina, his liberal-minded wife and by his eighteen-year-old daughter Pamela. Meanwhile, in the staff quarters, a love story is born between Jeet, a Hindu, and Aalia, a Muslim beauty. Things will prove difficult - not to say very difficult - both on the geopolitical and personal level.
Director(s): Gurinder Chadha
Production: Anguille Productions
  1 win.
Rotten Tomatoes:
106 min


Oi! Jeet! What took you so long?

This is what I imagine

England looks like.

England is all slums

and bombsites.

- You know why they're letting this go?

- No.

The war has exhausted them.

They can't afford to keep us.

Careful, she'll hear you.

Queen Victoria, Empress of India.

She never even set a foot here.

Now Mountbatten sahib

can finally take his great-grandmother

back home.

This is the new recruit, Jeet Kumar.

He's Punjabi, like me.

From my village near Lahore.

I have known him since he was a boy.

Very good, sir, very capable.

It is a great honour

to be in Viceroy's House.

I spoke with your last employer

on the telephone this morning.

The Governor of Punjab expressed

his regret at losing you.

You'll be working with Mr Gupta

in the inner circle.

We are responsible for the personal

care of the Viceroy.

It is a position of great trust,

you understand?

Yes, sir.

A privilege.

Mountbatten sahib is a heroic man.

He freed Burma.


Now he has come to free India.

You think you Indians are ready

to run your own civil service?

Courts of law?

Your own armed forces?

We've learnt from the best, sir.

I have chosen you, not because of

your vast experience,

but because The Honourable

Pamela Mountbatten is 18

and might appreciate your youth.

But what about my duties here?

This is an honour I am giving you.

Yes, ma'am.

The men translate for statesmen while

we translate chitchat for English child.

I hear she's friends with

Princess Elizabeth.

Protocol - stand to attention

when they pass.

Then she'll be looking down

her long Mountbatten nose at...

Oi, sala, move.

Stop staring at them.


Sorry, miss. My friend is new.

He doesn't know the protocol yet.

Aalia, we're late.

Wait, sala. Who is she?

A Hindu boy like you

and a Muslim girl?

I knew her father when he was in jail

in Lahore.

You started out as a policeman?

Yes, sir. I have been under-valet

for two years.

Why did you leave your job?

I was working in a jail, sir.

Many of our leaders

were in prison there.

I found myself unable to turn keys, sir.

And yet...

you'd work for the British Viceroy?

He will not be Viceroy for long, sir.

Freedom is coming.

Better to be close to power and watch

than to agitate against it.

How else will we step in

when our time comes?

What's that? Look, Mizzy.

What can you see?

What can you see?

That's more like it.

Stop hogging the mirror, Daddy.

You know, the Aussies called him

a beaut.

And who can deny it?

Churchill called this

the worst job in the world.

Well, he's wrong.

Burma was the worst job in the world.

You're giving a nation back to its people.

How bad can it be?

Churchill was wrong about Gandhi too.

- What did he call him?

- A half-naked fakir.

That's really rather rude.

Yes, British Empire brought to

its knees by a man in a loin cloth.

Poor Winston.

He's walking around like a chap

who's swallowed a wasp.

Well, he is part of the past, darling.

You're bringing the future.

We are.


Then let's not make a mess of it.


Your Excellency.

Not for much longer.

Welcome. You know Lord Ismay,

Chief of Staff.

- Pug, good to see you.

- Glad to be on the team.

Welcome to the infernal heat, my dear.

- Lady Wavell.

- Dickie.

I must say, I think it's a little shabby,

the way Whitehall's ousted you.

- Sir? One photo, sir?

- I was always Churchill's man

and now Atlee's Labour government

has swept the board.

Lord Louis, what do you hope

to achieve?

I have been given a very specific task.

I am to be the last Viceroy of India

and I shall carry out the role

with great pride.


Oh, this is quite something.


This is the indoor staff.

Good heavens!

Fifty and something, I believe.

On behalf of you all...

I'd like to welcome the incoming

Viceroy and his family.

I am sure that you will give them

the same good service

that you have always given us.


Who is he?

My father was jailed for marching

with Gandhiji.

My mother and I were not allowed

to visit him,

but there was this young

Hindu policeman who helped us.

He took letters, food, medicine

for my father.

But your face when you saw him.

I was... I was only surprised

to see him.

- Stop making mischief.

- This solves a mystery, Aalia.

Sunita, there's nothing between us.

Nothing for you, maybe.

I don't envy you, Dickie.

I tried to solve it, but it's operation

madhouse, if you ask me.

Thousands dead already.

Thirty million Hindus and Sikhs

want a united India

but many of the 100 million

Muslims do not.

The Muslim minority don't want to be

part of India.

They want their own country, Pakistan.

There's such rancour between

the leaders now,

it's nigh on impossible to get them

in the same room.

Well, whatever their differences are,

all Indians have one thing in common.

- What's that?

- They can't wait to get rid of us.

- Mr Nehru, sir.

- Hm.

Mr Nehru and some of the other

leaders were kind enough

to come and meet my plane.

I asked them all to eat with us.

It seemed the least I could do.

I hope it's not inconvenient.

- Excellency.

- Good afternoon.

- Lord Ismay.

- Hello.

My dear, dear Dickie.

Panditji, thank you for joining us.

It is always a pleasure to be in

the Viceroy's house and not in his jails.

You would not have needed

to be jailed

had you not been trying to undermine

us as we fought the Nazis.

Rate this script:4.0 / 1 vote

Paul Mayeda Berges

Paul Mayeda Berges (born September 11, 1968 in Torrance, California) is an American screenwriter and director. Of Japanese and Basque ancestry, Berges attended the University of California, Santa Cruz, where he studied film and graduated in 1990. He began his career by making documentaries (on the Japanese American community) and teaching film production (to high school students). He has collaborated with his wife, British-Indian director Gurinder Chadha, on a number of films and made his directorial debut in 2005 with The Mistress of Spices, based on the novel by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni. Berges officially met his wife in March 1994, while he was working as a Festival Director at the San Francisco Asian American International Film Festival. But they had also briefly met in September 1993. They married in the mid-nineties and have twins together; a boy named Ronak and a girl named Kumiko (born June 7, 2007). more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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