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Partition: 1947 trailer — Gurinder Chadha unveils murky details of India's Partition 

The Indian trailer of Chadha's Viceroy House focuses on the consequences of political secrets that led to India's Partition.

Shriram Iyengar

Partition is never an easy subject, particularly for those who have suffered personal losses. Director Gurinder Chadha returns to the subject in her upcoming Partition: 1947. 

The trailer of the film was launched yesterday, by the director and actress Huma Qureshi, in Mumbai.

Focusing on the human devastation caused by the political machinations of a few British overseers, the trailer is quite different from the international cut. Hugh Bonneville plays Lord Mountbatten, the man who believes his charge to be that of ensuring India's smooth transition into Independence. However, behind the screen, there are several politicians and administrators involved in ensuring that Britain does not leave India stronger than it found it.

Michael Gambon delivers the role of the sinister General Hastings Ismay, who manipulates Mountbatten into dividing India's destiny forever. Manish Dayal and Qureshi play the lovers caught in this web that leads to a religious divide. Om Puri, in one of his last performances, also makes an appearance in this Partition drama. 

Speaking about the film, Chadha said, "It is a personal film, and a political film." The international version of the film, named Viceroy's House, focussed on the intrigues of the House, had the feel of a 'British period epic' with its focus on the lifestyles, ethos, and the hierarchies in the Viceroy House during that time. The Indian version, however, focusses clearly on the Partition drama, the reasons and its consequences. 

The director revealed that she arrived on the story after reading The Shadow of The Great Game by Narendra Singh Sarila, an ADC to Mountbatten. The research certainly shows in the trailer, with AR Rahman's music raising it another notch. 

The film also stars Gillian Anderson, apart from Dayal, Qureshi, Gambon and Bonneville. 

Partition: 1947 is set to be released on 18 August.