Beecham House Review (Netflix) : When it comes to Indo-British historical dramas, Gurinder Chadha’s name is quite a synonym. After giving us films like Bend It Like Beckham, Bride and Prejudice, It’s A Wonderful Afterlife, Viceroy’s House etc. , she has come up with Netflix show Beecham House.
The Indo-British historical drama is set in the end of 18th century Delhi. India is losing its freedom to East India Company and the Mughal emperors all over the nation are appalled by their crude and cruel attitude. They are feeling deceived and therefore, when John Beecham, an ex-soldier of East India Company comes in Delhi and seeks trade approval from Delhi Emperor Shah Alam II, he has to face a tough time.
The 6 episode, 1st season of show tells the story of John Beecham, who wants to make a life in Delhi, India along with his family. Unlike EIC, he has no ill intentions but has got a secret which he is not supposed to share with anybody. On top of that, he’s got a traitor and in all these circumstances, he gets the challenges every hero in his filmy story gets.
What’s that secret? Does he finally get the trade licence from emperor? Will he be able to give his family a good life in India?
Watchout the show to get the answers.
Gurinder Chadha, Paul Mayeda Berges , Shahrukh Husain & Victor Levin have penned a story which doesn’t rely much on shock value or unpredictability. The strength of the writing lies in the environment it creates, the dialogues, the character sketches and the drama.
It won’t be wrong to say that you feel that you are indeed living in 1790’s Delhi. The sets look authentic, the dialogues are beautifully real, the characters are well written.
However, I personally felt that it’s not a show for binge watching. To best enjoy the feel it gives, you need to allow yourself some time after watching an episode. I’d recommend readers to go 1 episode per day and that’s how this kind of show is enjoyed the most.
Beecham House creates an environment around you that you feel like getting a time machine and travel from 2019 to 1790 right away. Of course, there’s British Invasion but, to see India in its glorious days is a treat (Our country still had a lot of glory left till that time). At the same time, you feel this pain by seeing how Britishers made us their “Ghulams”.
The only limitation I found was the lack of entertainment or humour but that was probably a conscious decision by makers to do justice with the plot.
Tom Bateman as John Beecham lives his character. He impresses with his natural acting and looks handsome in Indian attire and beard.
I specially loved Lesley Nicol as John’s mother Henrietta Beecham. She has got her own insecurities, traits like typical Indian TV serial woman but she’s so cute. She is a lovely mother, definitely a flawed character but has a good enough heart to realise her mistake and correct them to become a better human.
Leo Suter as John’s brother, current EIC soldier, Daniel Beecham acts ably.
Dakota Blue Richards as Margaret Osborne is lovely.
Bessie as Violet Woodhouse is fine. Pallavi Sharda as Chandrika plays her role well. Shriya Pilgaonkar as Chanchal is OK.
Lara Dutta as Begum Samru looks beautiful and has got very less scope of acting. Tisca Chopra as Empress is fine. Viveik Kalra as Baadal is lovely and is a character to fall in love with.
Other actors like Arundoy Singh, Gregory Fitoussi, Roshan Seth and Mark Warren are also good.
Gurinder Chadha as a director has done lovely job. She deserves kudos for making a historical drama in such a convincing way. In this age, there are less patrons for historical dramas like these but those who’ll watch will like it.
The show is technically good and background score is amusing.
Overall, Beecham House is a slice of life from the British Era gone by. It will definitely increase your knowledge about our history in an interesting way. I’ll specially recommend this show to students who struggle with the subject.
Rating : 3/5