The movie is set during the British colonial period in
Apparently, ‘Before the Rains’ is adapted from the story “Red Roofs” presented by Israeli director Dany Verete in his movie Yellow Asphalt; Red Roofs is about an illicit relationship between an Israeli Jewish farmer and his Bedouin maid. However, it was not this Israeli connection that I was constantly reminded of during the movie; it was E.M.Forster’s characters, Mrs. Moore and Mr. Fielding, from Passage to India that kept flashing in my mind. Director Sivan’s chief protagonist, TK (Rahul Bose), is the Indian counterpart of Forster’s Fielding in Passage to India. Both characters are intelligent and sensitive human beings, who though wishing to be loyal to their own, are bipartisan in thought and ultimately in their actions as well which ultimately leads to major changeovers in the plot. In Forster’s novel, it is the native Indian, Dr. Aziz, who is accused of a physical assault on a memsahib, whereas in Before the Rains it is Planter Moore who is under suspicion for having an affair with his married Indian housekeeper. The parallel does not end there; there is a Mrs. Moore in the movie, who, coincidentally, has the very name of her Forsterian counterpart. She, like the other Mrs. Moore from Passage to India, is aware of the real nature of the relationship between her husband and the maid, and yet decides to keep quiet about it. Mrs Moore in Passage to India cannot live with the guilt of having kept silent on the Malabar incident and dies on her way to
As I said at the beginning, I haven’t been able to forget the movie. I’m still trying to figure out whether the obvious parallels between Before the Rains and E.M. Forster’s Passage to India were a chance happening, or did Santosh Sivan plan this movie as a role-reversed sequel to E. M. Forster’s Passage to
I would watch this one, if only for its seductive setting – Kerala.