Partition (15)

Film image

The ViewLondon Review

StarStarStarNo StarNo Star
Review byMatthew Turner10/09/2008

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 116 mins

Watchable drama, whose melodramatic and occasionally dodgy script is enlivened by a trio of terrific performances from Mistry, Kreuk and Campbell.

What's it all about?
Directed by Vic Sarin, Partition is set in India in 1947, when the partition of India and Pakistan sparked bloodshed between Sikhs and Muslims. Jimi Mistry stars as Gian, a Sikh ex-soldier, who rescues Muslim girl Naseem (Kristin Kreuk, from Smallville) when she's separated from her family after Muslim refugees are massacred by local Sikhs.

Initially, Naseem's presence angers Gian's village community, but they gradually come to accept her and she eventually marries Gian and gives birth to his son. However, when Gian's old friend Margaret (Neve Campbell) brings long-awaited news of Naseem's family, Naseem crosses into Pakistan to see them, only to be imprisoned by them when they learn of her marriage to a Sikh.

The Good
Jimi Mistry gives a career best performance, subtly conveying the ways in which Gian's traumatic wartime experiences have given him the courage to stand up to the mob rule of his own countrymen (led by his one-time best friend, Avtar, played by Irfan Khan). Similarly, Kristin Kreuk confounds her Smallville detractors by delivering an astonishing performance as Naseem – indeed, her voice and accent are so different that you'd swear she was dubbed (the press notes claim otherwise).

There's also strong support from Neve Campbell (deploying an impressive cut-glass 1940s British accent), though Irfan Khan is badly under-used as Avtar. In addition, Sarin handles both the action scenes and the romance scenes well and there's genuine chemistry between Mistry and Kreuk.

The Bad
Essentially, the somewhat simplistic story is a variation on Romeo and Juliet, given added weight by a historical backdrop that's not often portrayed in movies. That said, the dialogue is often stilted and occasionally laughable, while the supporting characters (particularly Naseem's family) are frustratingly one-dimensional.

Worth seeing?
In short, Partition is a watchable slice of melodrama that's worth seeing for the performances of the three leads.

Film Trailer

Partition (15)
Partition has been reviewed by 1 users
01 Focus (15)

Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Rodrigo Santoro

02 Selma (12A)

David Oyelowo, Carmen Ejogo, Tim Roth

03 Far from the Madding Crowd (tbc)

Carey Mulligan, Tom Sturridge, Matthias Schoenaert...

04 Chappie (tbc)

Hugh Jackman, Sigourney Weaver, Sharlto Copley

05 A Most Violent Year (15)

Oscar Isaac, Jessica Chastain, David Oyelowo

Content updated: 23/04/2019 19:09

Latest Film Reviews

Film of the Week

Foxcatcher (15)

Steve Carrell and Channing Tatum star in this real life inspired story of Olympic talent, fierce competition and murder.

UK Box Office Top 5 Films