Indian Summers Review

Last Updated on April 1, 2022 by ellen

Indian SummersIndian Summers explores the collision of the high-living English ruling class with the local people agitating for Indian independence.

Posts may be sponsored. This post contains affiliate links, which means I will make a commission at no extra cost to you should you click through and make a purchase. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

I’ve always been fascinated with what it was like to live years ago, especially if it was in another country. Can you just imagine yourself as part of the aristocracy in England spending lazy days on your estate in the summer? Doesn’t that sound a lot better than cleaning the house and going to work every day? I was sent a product for this feature. The story is my own.

Indian Summers: Sumptuous Period Drama & Gripping Thriller

In 1932 the height of privilege was to be British in India, and the high point was the summer season at the hard-partying colonial retreat of Simla in the Himalayan foothills. Rude reality intrudes on this spectacular paradise in Indian Summers, starring Julie Walters (Oscar® nominee for Billy Elliot and Educating Rita) as the wily hostess of Simla society.

Joining the cast are a galaxy of British, Indian, and Pakistani stars, including Henry Lloyd-Hughes (Madame Bovary), Nikesh Patel (Bedlam), Jemima West (The Borgias), Roshan Seth (Gandhi), Patrick Malahide (The Paradise), and Bollywood legends Lillete Dubey (The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel) and Alyy Khan (Sharpe’s Challenge).

Also appearing are Alexander Cobb (Mr. Selfridge), Aysha Kala (Shameless), Olivia Grant (Endeavour), Edward Hogg (The Borgias), Fiona Glascott (Anton Chekhov’s The Duel), Craig Parkinson (Line of Duty), and Richard McCabe (Wallander).

Framed by the beginning and end of the summer season, when India’s British rulers left the hot plains for the cool slopes of Simla, Indian Summers centers on three brother-sister pairs. Ralph Whelan is the private secretary to the British Viceroy of India. Ralph is an upwardly mobile, politically ambitious bachelor, hiding a checkered past. He is joined by Alice, his beautiful younger sister who appears suddenly from England with her little boy—and conspicuously without her husband.

Next there is Aafrin Dalal, an idealistic clerk in the elite Indian Civil Service, who wins Ralph’s trust by saving his life. Aafrin seems marked for rapid advancement in the British bureaucracy, except his sister Sooni threatens his career by agitating tirelessly for national independence.

Then there are two adrift Americans: Eugene Mathers, an expatriate architect from a wealthy Chicago family, who has been taken in by Ralph after being stricken with malaria; and Eugene’s seductive sister, Madeline, who comes to care for him—and ends up caring for Ralph.

Pulling the strings that animate much of the action is Cynthia Coffin, a manipulative military widow who presides like an empress over the Royal Simla Club, where the ruling class lounges in subtropical splendor, sipping gin and tonics, running the country, and dancing the night away.

Apart from this in-group are two other contingents representing British imperialism: tea plantation owner Stafford Armitage, recently joined by his eager and inexperienced nephew Ian McLeod; and missionary Dougie Raworth, whose rescue of a nameless mixed-race boy launches a major storyline in the series. Meanwhile, Dougie’s desperately homesick wife, Sarah, is slowly losing her mind in this strange land.

Needless to say, illicit encounters, assignations, and forbidden affairs abound. And there are also complications offstage, where pressure is building for an end to British rule. Gandhi has recently been arrested on the Viceroy’s orders, and he is staging a hunger strike from his cell, exerting pressure that renders the world’s greatest empire helpless.

Indian Summers was originally a mini-series and is now available on Blu-ray on 3 discs. That is over 10 hours of programming so this is a series you will want to enjoy over time. This was a truly fascinating look at how India has changed over history – from being the play place of English aristocracy to becoming an independent country in its own right. The setting of the movie was absolutely gorgeous and I loved having a look into what this time in history may have looked like.

If you’re looking for a British mini-series to enjoy, I recommend Indian Summers. Buy Indian Summers Blu-ray today.

2 thoughts on “Indian Summers Review

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.