Before the Rains

Rated 3.0

In remote of colonial India in 1937, a clandestine affair between an English spice planter (Linus Roache) and a native woman from a nearby village (Nandita Das) leads to tragedy, with unpleasant (though hardly unforeseen) consequences for the planter’s trusted native overseer (Rahul Bose). The story was originally part of Dan Verete’s Israeli film Yellow Asphalt, transposed here by writer Cathy Rabin and director Santosh Sivan to the British Raj during the nascent independence movement, with the expected political undercurrents. Rabin’s script plays like a distended short story, and Sivan’s direction is a bit overdeliberate, but the movie has enough fine acting—especially by Bose and by Jennifer Ehle as the planter’s deceived wife—and beautiful, razor-sharp cinematography (also by Sivan) to recommend it.