Actress Huma Qureshi is not disconcerted by the strong reactions to Partition: 1947, saying the film intends to unite people and not divide them. The film also stars Manish Dayal, Hugh Bonneville, Gillian Anderson and Late Om Puri in pivotal roles.
“Partition is a very sensitive subject. People will have strong reactions to it. It’s a film about peace, about humanity. It’s intended to unite people rather than divide. Some people want to say something… that’s really their choice,” Huma told the media here on Wednesday in response to the criticism it has garnered.
The film, released as Viceroy’s House outside India earlier this year, tells the story of India’s partition. It throws light on Mountbatten’s dubious involvement in India-Pakistan’s partition. Gurinder’s previous works include Bend It Like Beckham and Bride and Prejudice. The film has alternatively titled as Viceroy’s House for overseas and was launched at the Berlin Film Fest. The film’s plot revolves around pre-independence days when Lord Mountbatten was in charge of the office.
Of all the criticisms leveled at the film, one of the strongest has come from Pakistani writer Fatima Bhutto, granddaughter of Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and niece of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.
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In a review in The Guardian, Bhutto had slammed the film for belittling leaders like Jawaharlal Nehru, Mahatma Gandhi and Mohammad Ali Jinnah and painting Muslims in a bad picture. The trailer of the film was well received, it showed Mountbatten’s conversations with imminent leaders like Jawaharlal Nehru, Gandhi and Muhammad Ali Jinnah. It also shows the romance of two Indians, Huma Qureshi and Manish Dayal who work with the British. The thrilling factor of the promo is how the makers have depicted the increasing tension amidst all the partition chaos.
The film is slated to release in India on August 18.