Tag Archive for 'Alex von Tunzelmann'

End of an affair: Nehru-Edwina movie scrapped

From the Telegraph, Calcutta:

indian_summerIndian Summer, a Hollywood film based on Jawaharlal Nehru and Edwina Mountbatten, has been shelved, leaving behind a mystery on what the film-makers found too hot to handle: money or Indian prudes.

The film was supposed to focus on one of the most sensitive chapters of the final days of the Raj – the relationship between India’s first Prime Minister and the wife of Britain’s last Viceroy.

Universal Pictures, among Hollywood’s oldest studios, has postponed plans for shooting, apparently because of the scale of the budget, thought to have been between $30 million (Rs 138 crore) and $40 million (Rs 184 crore).

Sources said director Joe Wright considered making the film, Indian Summer, starring Cate Blanchett and Hugh Grant, for less than $30 million, before deciding to wait for more favourable market conditions. More:

Previously on AW: Nehru and Edwina: the movie

And in Foreign Policy: What the censorship of a film about India’s founding father shows about New Delhi’s cautious relationship toward its own history:

The film’s international cast of superstars — Academy Award-winner Cate Blanchett playing Edwina, and Hugh Grant tipped to portray her husband, Louis — did nothing to deter New Delhi from issuing a series of silly cuts. Among them: no kissing, no scenes of physical intimacy between Nehru and Edwina, and no use of the word “love.” The director, Joe Wright, whose previous films include the hugely successful Atonement and Pride and Prejudice, has no choice but to comply if he wants to shoot the film in India. And that’s not all: Should Wright go ahead, the completed film will have to be shown to a government “expert” who will judge whether it depicts “a correct and balanced perspective on the topic covered.”

Indian Summer: story of the Mountbattens

Drama, glamour and performance: Alex von Tunzelmann‘s book about the Mountbattens is made for film. From The Sunday Times:

Had Dickie Mountbatten lived long enough to read Alex von Tunzelmann’s Indian Summer – a lively history of India’s partition in 1947, in which, as last viceroy, he plays a central role – a few details might have irked him. Her portrayal of his early naval career as a catalogue of catastrophic blunders, for instance, might have grated. The open discussion of Nehru’s affair with Mountbatten’s wife, Edwina, would likewise have offended his sense of decorum. One thing about Indian Summer, however, would have thrilled him: the book is to become a film. Even better, Hugh Grant is rumoured to be playing Dickie and Cate Blanchett his wife.

Mountbatten loved the movies. He and Edwina, always a handsome couple, even appeared in one during their honeymoon of 1922: Nice and Easy, starring Charlie Chaplin. Mountbatten’s life, moreover, was a constant performance. He loved the pomp and ceremony of officialdom, and in particular the brilliant white uniforms it allowed him to strut about it in. Indeed, so inherently cinematic were the lives and loves of the Mountbattens that their friend Noël Coward based the leads in In Which We Serve and Brief Encounter on them – the latter picture prompting the viceroy to exclaim “how deeply it moved me”.