Partition

Critics Consensus

A disappointing melodrama focussing on the partition of India and Pakistan. Strange cross-culture casting doesn't help the pedestrian script and direction.

38%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 21

73%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 6,561
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Partition Photos

Movie Info

In a time when India and Pakistan are being torn apart, true love still manages to take root despite the fear and intolerance that blights the troubled landscape. The year is 1947, and as India and Pakistan are split into two separate states the rivers run red with blood. Gian (Jimi Mistry) is a Sikh and former soldier who risks his life to rescue young Muslim Naseem (Kristin Kruek) from a rampaging mob. As this unlikely pair begins to realize their true feelings for one another, the bond between them helps to heal the tender wounds of war. But what chance does true love really have against the destructive force or religious zealotry?

Cast

Jimi Mistry
as Gian Singh
Kristin Kreuk
as Naseem Khan
Neve Campbell
as Margaret Stilwell
John Light
as Walter Hankins
Madhur Jaffrey
as Shanti Singh
Chenier Hundal
as Zakir Khan
Jesse Moss
as Andrew Stilwell
Arya Babbar
as Akbar Khan
Chenier Hundel
as Zakir Khan
View All

Critic Reviews for Partition

All Critics (21) | Top Critics (6) | Fresh (8) | Rotten (13)

  • It is, however, watchable throughout as a document about the individual human tragedies that the advent of Partition threw up.

    Sep 12, 2008 | Rating: 3/5
  • But this is a film that lumbers under its epic ambitions and at nearly two hours long - with some awkward plotting to boot - scenes drag, grand and momentous, but crushing anything so fragile as human feelings.

    Sep 12, 2008 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

    Cath Clarke

    Guardian
    Top Critic
  • It's the taboo and tender romance between Mistry and Kreuk that will shift the serious tickets.

    Sep 12, 2008 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • The period reconstructions are impressive but the script and direction are a little pedestrian.

    Sep 12, 2008 | Rating: 2/6 | Full Review…

    Wally Hammond

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • Where the film stumbles is the script, overcrowded with bits of business and scenes that lean heavily on the symbolic.

    Feb 2, 2007 | Rating: 2/4
  • [Director] Sarin was aiming for an epic and arrived at episodic. That might have been okay if the episodes weren't so partitioned from each other, the flashbacks failing to illuminate the present action.

    Feb 2, 2007 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Partition

  • Jun 30, 2009
    Partition is an absolute masterpiece in cinematography, with a compelling continuing story of emotions, historical cultural divide,the human need to love and be loved regardless of the events of the world around us. A masterpiece in independent film-making, the director Vic is an absolute master of his art, through the medium of film he has bought alive the mainly forgotten and least problems of the situation on the India and Pakistan borders. His actors are pure actors from the heart and take us on a unforgettable journey as the story unfolds. A worth to watch.
    Daisy M Super Reviewer
  • Jul 03, 2008
    An ultimate love story with a tragic ending, but so beautiful and endearing. It's very well written and the acting is superb by all the cast, and I absolutely love this movie.
    Donna D Super Reviewer
  • Dec 10, 2007
    A beautiful movie!! Great story plot about two individuals who fall in love, and marry, in India during 1947. One is Sikh and the other Muslim, this movie follows their story together. Jimi Mistry stars in this drama, it is definitely fantastic to see him in a film once again. Kristin Kreuk and Neve Campbell co-stars in this amazing movie, and both are phenomenal! Great scenery, beautiful music.
    Leo L Super Reviewer
  • Apr 11, 2007
    "<i>For half my life I was a soldier. I fought for India, for Sikhs, Muslim, Hindu, Christian, for everyone. I killed men, many men. I came home looking for peace. I found Partition. Hate everywhere.</i>" <a href="http://s172.photobucket.com/albums/w25/EarthlyAlien/?action=view¤t=partition1.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w25/EarthlyAlien/partition1.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a> Purists who were up in arms about Chinese actresses playing Japanese characters like in <i>Memoirs of the Geisha</i> will probably flip again at the portrayals of Indians by non-Indian actors, and could cite again similar examples whether the country of origin lacked capable actors to pull the roles off (of course not, this is India we're talking about, certainly no lack of actors). But this is a Canadian production, and those detractors were likely to have some axe to grind with Hollywood-ized versions of such films, leaving this one alone. Or maybe the subject matter explored here outweighed such negative, meaningless, counter-productive thoughts and arguments. Journeying back to the time of the British withdrawal from India in 1947, one of the policies introduced during the independence, is this little handiwork done by the British, which had the population at the time segregate themselves into Hindu India, and Muslim Pakistan. This led to migration of scores of people to either side of the partitioning, and with it came religious tensions, and mindless massacres from both sides. <i>Partition</i>, through its narrative, was no holds barred on this criticism, even though it too boiled down to misunderstandings and intolerance from both groups of people. <i>Partition</i> is a film that I recommend, even though it's draped with heavy melodrama. Perhaps it's because it's a Romeo and Juliet story, with our protagonists not from feuding families, but from different religions. Gian Singh (Jimi Mistry) is an ex-soldier serving in the British army, and in his retirement from war, he returns to his village to seek a certain peace from within, after making a decision during the war which he has yet come to terms with. One day, he rescues Naseem Khan (Kristin Kreuk) from a massacre by the Sikhs on the Muslims who were en route to Pakistan, and shields her from his fellow men when they bayed for her blood. As you might have guessed, the two will fall in love amid the background of violence, and their love will transcend religion, culture, and intolerance. It is a cliché, yes, but the truth is that these stories have happened throughout history, this is another one. The film has two distinct acts, which I thought the second was somewhat hastened, given the idyllic pace which the first had dwelled in, sharing its rich cinematography by writer-director Vic Sarin. The story's development too moved into its fastest gear, especially in the finale which was what one would expect. What I thought was treaded quite superficially (and I suppose it was perhaps on purpose) was the dealing of religion, that it can be flipped flopped so easily. Perhaps herein laid a message that love will transcend that as well, given that after all, God is also about love, right? Like how <i>The Namesake</i> made me sit up and consider the possibility of Kal Penn actually being an actor, <i>Partition</i> had the same effect for Jimi Mistry. Best known for his comedic <i>The Guru</i> role in which he played a "sexpert", he's almost unrecognisable under that thick beard, and gave a very strong performance as a man haunted by his past, and finding a future with a loved one, willing to make extreme sacrifices for his family. Kristin Kreuk, in her second fim outing after her slutty role in <i>Eurotrip</i>, brings a more <i>Smallville</i>'s Lana Lang-ish appeal to her character here, as she pines for the loves of her life, and lets those tears roll. No, she doesn't look a bit like your typical Pakistani girl (she's what's called an Eurasian, her father being of Dutch ancestry and her mother of Chinese), but yes, her beauty helps illuminate the screen. It's strange though to see her try her best to put on a believable accent, and mannerisms right down to head movements, but she does deserve credit for trying, besides looking good in those saris. I was also surprised to see Irfan Khan in a bit role here, being one of my favourite actors and having enjoyed his last Western performances in Mira Nair's <i>The Namesake</i> and Michael Winterbottom's <i>A Mighty Heart</i>. Strong supporting work from John Light and Neve Campbell as well, the latest pulling off one of the most believable British accents I've seen in a long time by an American (or in this case Canadian) actor. Her character, Margaret Stilwell, was I though, a tragic one, if you interpreted as her still holding onto the candle for Gian, without him realizing, probably consciously aware that their status and skin colour are too different to have resulted in anything fruitful. <i>Partition</i> suffers a little from Sarin's - a proud Indian-Canadian - own optimism about multiculturalism, a charming tendency that can come off like naiveté. The film's old-fashioned, "can't-we-all-get-along" politics sometimes gloss over historical complexity, which makes it even more like an old-fashioned Hollywood epic. But <i>Partition</i> is still a visual stunner, replete with lush, sun-soaked landscapes, highly choreographed battle scenes and a one-track beautiful theme song. And that same frustrating simplicity makes the film fearlessly commercial, too, which is its biggest flaw. In case - and only in case - you're fond of Romero and Juliet love stories set against historical backgrounds which still have repercussions until this very day, than <i>Partition</i> is a film worth watching.
    Pedro P Super Reviewer

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