As a film lover, when works such as Partition slip through the cracks, it breaks your heart just a little bit. I don't mean to oversell writer/director Vic Sarin's lush period piece as some kind of life-altering experience -- it's a bit too meandering for that -- but rather, to say that something so lovingly assembled and sweated over should achieve a bit more recognition than it has to date. As mainstream Hollywood becomes a colder, more digital place, it's nice to take a breath and see flesh-and-blood storytelling still a vital presence in epic stories.
The time in which Partition is set -- 1947, as the reign of the British Raj draws to a close -- is one of intense political and social turmoil, particularly for war-weary Gian Singh (Jimi Mistry), who finds himself responsible for the young Naseem (Kristin Kreuk), the survivor of a brutal Sikh raid on her village. With help from British pals like Margaret Stilwell (Neve Campbell, with a chuckle-inducing accent), Gian finds himself falling for Naseem, against societal norms and the ever-present dangers of religious intolerance.
Meant as a sort-of period riff on "Romeo & Juliet," Partition is a film lovely to look at but easily become bored with; the plot, in between hitting most of the predictable buttons, wanders a bit in getting to its final destination, attempting to inflate its epic-ness by allowing the film to go on a bit longer than necessary. All of the cast -- except perhaps Campbell -- acquit themselves well (Kreuk in particular) but despite Sarin's best intentions, the intense emotions onscreen never quite connect in the way he seems to want them to. For those who love a little romance stirred into their period pieces, Partition may be the film for you, but it's a rental only for the curious. The DVD
Befitting a film shot (at least partially) on location, Partition looks solid in its 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer, with well-saturated black levels and rich colors. It's a recent film so thankfully, there isn't anything hugely distracting in the way of visual flaws. The Audio:
Although dialogue and Brian Tyler's occasionally overwrought score are the primary engines of Partition's soundtrack, the Dolby Digital 5.1 track (in either English or French) sounds problem-free throughout. The Extras:
Sarin and Kreuk sit for a commentary track, with a 48 minute, 38 second making-of documentary, the film's trailer and a photo gallery rounding out the disc. Final Thoughts:
Despite writer/director Vic Sarin's best intentions, the intense emotions of period drama Partition never quite connect in the way he seems to want them to. For those who love a little romance stirred into their period pieces, Partition may be the film for you, but it's a rental only for the curious. Rent it.