I thought this movie would be a romance–the DVD cover showed a man and a woman embracing lovingly in what looks like a very relaxing spring. The romance between the unsuspecting, naive, Indian maid and the selfish, ambitious Englishman interested in building a spice road lasts about a quarter of the film. The rest is devoted to the consequences of their secret affair for both the maid and the Englishman.
At first, I was very angry with the Englishman’s wife. She comes into the picture completely clueless and happy even though all Hell is breaking loose around her. At first I couldn’t figure out if she was purposefully ignorant, or just stupid. She redeems herself in my eyes when she finally realizes what happened to the maid, and leaves her husband. And speaking of that scumbag, I wish the Englishman would have gotten a greater punishment. By the end of the film, the people who suffered most were those around him–his wife, his maid, her family, and especially his right-hand man. I suppose this is to show that the English never paid for their crimes, it was always those under them that took the responsibility for their selfishness. While this may be true, I still wanted to see him get his rear handed to him. As a whole, the film was too long and drawn out. I didn’t like many of the characters, and I pitied any I didn’t constantly wish would hurl themselves off a cliff. While somewhat interesting to watch, I don’t think I’ll ever have the need to watch this one again.