Viceroy's House review – soapy account of India's birth agonies

Hugh Bonneville and Gillian Anderson play the Mountbattens in Gurinder Chadha cheekily Downtonised but watchable version of history

Our time frame for leaving won’t work!” exclaims Lady Mountbatten, for a moment overwhelmed by the task of quitting India in 1947. Something familiar about that? As well as an enjoyably soapy and cheekily Downtonised view of history, director Gurinder Chadha could be offering a satirical stab at what Indexit meant to a country about to split into two as a punitive condition of liberty; maybe the UK will also have to contemplate partition of its own, north and south. With co-screenwriters Moira Buffini and Paul Mayeda Berges, Chadha creates a watchable costume drama from India’s birth agonies. And with its streak of subversive humour, it even reminded me weirdly of Spike Milligan’s Puckoon, about the division of Ireland.

Hugh Bonneville plays Mountbatten of Burma, brought in to oversee the
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