Critic Reviews



Based on 19 critic reviews provided by
Fatal culture clash, imperialist entitlement, forbidden passion between master and servant: the ingredients of the Indian director Santosh Sivan’s period piece Before the Rains may be awfully familiar, but the film lends them the force of tragedy.
Tells the kind of story that would feel right at home in a silent film, and I suppose I mean that as a compliment.
As scripted by Cathy Rabin and directed by Santosh Sivan, Before the Rains is never less than compelling, but never more than adequately realized.
Sivan's film is well acted, beautifully photographed and oddly reassuring. It comes perilously close to suggesting that the injustices of colonial rule were the product of morally weak and misguided individuals rather than a system that empowered and enriched foreign interests at the expense of locals.
Chicago Reader
Producer Ismail Merchant died in 2005, but Merchant Ivory's stuffy tradition of quality lives on.
It's more that the plot is incredibly predictable, the score is manipulative and the denouement completely unsatisfying. I can sit through cliched and even offensive (to a point). Just leave me with a little bit of mystery, an iota of suspense. That’s all I ask.
Pity that the direction and narrative lack passion. If there's anything a story of interracial adultery needs, it's passion.
The film's chief asset is its superbly atmospheric evocation of its period milieu.
The A.V. Club
The one appealing aspect of Before The Rains is that there are no villains, just three characters who are driven first by shared desires, then by a natural impulse for self-preservation that brings them into conflict.
The story sounds great, on paper: It''s got interracial romance and betrayal, political and ethnic violence, and a faint feminist undercurrent. But the resulting movie is so pretty and so utterly lifeless you can almost smell the embalming fluid coming off the screen.

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