Before the Rains
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Before the Rains
Set in 1930s southern India against the backdrop of a growing nationalist movement, "Before the Rains" is the English language debut of acclaimed Indian director Santosh Sivan. An idealistic young Indian man finds himself torn between his ambitions for the future and his loyalty to the past when people in his village learn of an affair between his British boss and a village woman.

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 49%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"It's definitely good, definitely a little bit boring."
‑ Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle
"It might have been more convincing if it had emphasized personalities rather than types."
‑ John Hartl, Seattle Times
"If only the whole thing weren't so pretty."
‑ Kelly Vance, East Bay Express
"While not without its merits (the performances of Jennifer Ehle and Rahul Bose are particular highlights), Before the Rains ultimately suffers from a downpour of melodrama."
‑ Rhiannon Sawyer, FILMINK (Australia)
"Here is a movie that the late Ismail Merchant would have been happy to have under the Merchant-Ivory banner. James Ivory is very much alive and working, and one assumes he approves as well."
‑ Tim Cogshell, Boxoffice Magazine
"India has rarely looked so beautiful onscreen. Against the anguish of his human characters, director Santosh Sivan juxtaposes a tranquil, green world in the hills of the southwestern state of Keralain 1937, 10 years before independence."
‑ Philip Marchand, Toronto Star
"Unfortunately, the parade of consequences brought on by the affair has little emotional substance."
‑ Loren Lankford, Entertainment Weekly
"Mechanical through and through."
‑ Nick Schager, House Next Door
"The film certainly looks beautiful as it captures the lush beauty of its mountainous, green Indian landscape, but acclaimed cinematographer turned director Santosh Sivan is only partially successful when it comes to the storytelling"
‑ Louise Keller, Urban Cinefile
"An unremarkable story beautifully told, and should appeal to the legion of Merchant Ivory fans out there."
‑ Jean Lowerison, San Diego Metropolitan
"When the rains in Before the Rains finally arrive, there's nothing to cleanse, no real dirt to wash away -- not with history already so neatly packaged and polished to a dull shine."
‑ Rick Groen, Globe and Mail
"Producer Ismail Merchant died in 2005, but Merchant Ivory's stuffy tradition of quality lives on."
‑ J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader
"Has the moral overtones of an EM Forster story, but is curiously lacking in emotional force."
‑ Nick Dent, Time Out Sydney
"Exquisitely photographed but emotionally overwrought and ultimately tedious."
‑ Marc Savlov, Austin Chronicle
"One of the most ravishing and breathtakingly beautiful films to come around in a long time."
‑ Pete Hammond,
More reviews for Before the Rains on Rotten Tomatoes