THE BLACK PRINCE: HOLLYWOOD’S MOST ACCURATE HISTORICAL BIOPIC ON THE LAST KING OF PUNJAB

 

THE BLACK PRINCE:  HOLLYWOOD’S MOST ACCURATE HISTORICAL BIOPIC ON THE LAST KING OF PUNJAB

 

Plus Other Top Films Inspired By The British Raj

 

From romanticized stereotypes of exotic India to the most controversial policies of colonial rule, the British Raj in India has given inspiration to many minds that portray the saga on silver screen – a genre which has become popular over the years. Let’s look at some defining movies which were based on the British Raj in India.

THE BLACK PRINCE

 

Director: Kavi Raj, 2017

 

The first look poster of the historic film biopic on the poignant life story of the last King of Punjab – Maharajah Duleep Singh – also known as THE BLACK PRINCE, has created a wave of excitement, as it promises a spectacular storyline into the life and legacy of the Maharajah in exile in the UK.

 

The Hollywood movie which is set to release on 21 July 2017, is touted to be the most historical and factually accurate portrayal, covering the phenomenal legacy led and left behind by Maharajah Duleep Singh, right from his early upbringing in the UK under Queen Victoria to his ultimate revolt against the British for the freedom of his kingdom.   

 

Produced by Brillstein Entertainment (Academy Award winning film 12 Years A Slave), THE BLACK PRINCE, is a period drama written and directed by Hollywood filmmaker Kavi Raz and filmed widely across the UK and India. It carefully captures the tragic, yet fascinating true story and legacy of Maharajah Duleep Singh, providing a visual narrative of one of India’s most noble kings, and his fragile relationship with, Queen Victoria, who was Godmother to his children.

 

Acclaimed singer-poet Satinder Sartaaj essays the role of Maharajah Duleep Singh while veteran actress Shabana Azmi portrays Rani Jindan, the exiled King’s mother.

A PASSAGE TO INDIA

 

Director: David Lean, 1984

 

Tensions between Indians and the colonial British residents of the town of Chandrapore boil over when a visiting Englishwoman, Adela Quested, accuses a young Indian physician, Dr. Aziz, of rape during a tour of the local caverns. Based on E.M. Forster’s 1924 novel, this film can be seen as a study of colonial relations, perceived differences between East and West, and the nature of memory and friendship.

VICEROY’S HOUSE

 

Director: Gurinder Chadda, 2017

 

This British-Indian historical-drama film talks about the inside life of the Viceroy’s House in 1947 during the Partition of India.

 

The final Viceroy of India, Lord Mountbatten, is tasked with overseeing the transition of British India to independence, but meets with conflict as different sides clash in the face of monumental change. Downstairs in the servant’s quarters, Mountbatten’s new manservant, Jeet falls for the daughter’s assistant, Alia and all manner of obstacles are put in their way.

BHOWANI JUNCTION

 

Director: George Cukor, 1956

 

In the summer of 1947 the British are on the verge of finally leaving India. Among the few sorry to see them leave are the Anglo-Indians—half British and half Indian. They are going to miss the patronage of their white cousins, the job reservations, and the important status and positions they currently hold. This film revolves around Victoria, an Anglo-Indian woman and her relationships with British, Indian, and Anglo-Indian men. Based on the 1954 novel by John Masters.

 

GUNGA DIN

 

Director: George Stevens, 1939

 

This classic film, starring Cary Grant and Douglas Fairbanks jr, was one of the very first Hollywood depictions of India. Set in the nineteenth century, three British soldiers and a native waterbearer must stop a secret revival of the murderous “Thuggee” cult before it can spread across the land. The film is based very loosely on Rudyard Kipling’s 1892 ballad of the same name (though it is more like The Three Musketeers) and is interesting for its stereotypes as much as for its story.

SHATRANJ KE KHILARI | THE CHESS PLAYERS

 

Director: Satyajit Ray, 1977

 

In 1856, officials of the East India Company move to consolidate their hold over North India by annexing the wealthy kingdom of Awadh. The chief minister to the Nawab attempts to warn his ruler and local landlords of the impending danger but they ignore him and instead indulge their obsession with playing chess. The game becomes a metaphor for the larger game of politics played by the British as they maneuver to capture Awadh’s king. Based on the short story by Premchand.