The English language film Before the Rains, directed by Santosh Sivan and starring Rahul Bose, Nandita Das, Linus Roache, and Jennifer Ehle has made quite an impact at several film festivals. The film is set in India in 1937 and according to Bose: “It’s a film-noir about an illicit love relationship and how I get caught in it. It’s definitely an art house product with an element of whodunit.”
The film was very well received at the Tribeca Film Festival and Rahul Bose’s portrayal of a servant caught between two worlds was singled out. His work in the film was also singled out in the review by the New York Times.
Interestingly Rahul almost turned down the part in Before the Rains, “The producers wanted me to audition. And I said, ‘I don’t do auditions. I have never done them and I never will do them’. So I refused the role.”
However Bose’s manager in Hollywood talked him into it. “One day before shooting, I got the cinematographer of the movie I was working on to put me on a tape. They felt a younger actor should play T.K.. So I knew that they must have looked at about 50 actors. Then they saw my work and the rest is sordid history,” he said.
He added that Sivan had to take him on a little faith in his acting. “My character T.K. is a south Indian villager. And I am as urban as they get, and as Westernised an Indian as you get. So this was a huge leap for him to believe that I could pull it off.”
At the Houston World-Fest International Film Festival the art house film took home three of the top prizes. Rahul said, “It’s a triumph for Santosh on so many levels. A film in English from India winning the awards for best film, best cinematography and best music … it’s incredible!”
Sivan said, “To me, personally winning awards isn’t such a huge issue. I’ve won five National Awards for cinematography and 12 in all. I’m happy Before The Rains is being recognised internationally as a non-formula and non-Bollywood product. But I’m the happiest about Mark Kilian’s award for best music in Before The Rains.”
In June, the film is also scheduled for the prestigious Edinburgh Film Festival.