6 Movies Based on the Colonial Era Depicting British-Indian Friendship

Films based during the colonial era usually portray the British and Indians at warring ends. Not many movies have shown the friendship or love they may have shared. After all, the British ruled this country for over two hundred years, so it’s impossible that at any given point of time, no bonds were formed. However, glimpses of these relationships were shown in some movies, British as well as Indian. There were times when the white and brown folk came together to become fast friends and even lovers. Here are some movies that depicted British-Indian friendships in the best possible way:

Mangal Pandey: The Rising
The film showed the friendship between Mangal Pandey (Aamir Khan) and William Gordon (Toby Stephens) after the former saves his life. Gordon is also later shown romancing Ameesha Patel’s character when he saves her from being sacrificed through sati.

Lagaan
While the movie is mainly about a cricket match between British officers and the villagers of Champaner, love blossoms between Bhuvan (Aamir Khan) and a British officer’s sister, Elizabeth (Rachel Shelley). They remain friends as Aamir’s character later marries Gauri (Gracy Singh).

Before The Rains
Set in the 1930s, this film starred Rahul Bose and Nandita Das, where the latter has an affair with a British officer she works for. When the village discovers their relationship, she is beaten up by her husband, and later flees to her foreign lover, who in turn, abandons her.  

North West Frontier
Based in the early 1900s, this British film explores a Muslim uprising in the North West Frontier of British India. The Hindu maharaja takes the help of his British friend and army captain to escort his son to safety when the rebels storm the province.

A Passage to India
Another British film set during the 1920s, the movie depicts a friendship between a British school superintendent, Richard Fielding and an Indian local, Dr. Aziz Ahmed. Their friendship is put to test when the latter is falsely accused of a crime, but they make amends when he is acquitted.

Victoria & Abdul
One of the latest films to explore history’s most unlikely friendship is this upcoming Judi Dench and Ali Fazal-starrer. The former plays Queen Victoria who develops a friendly liking for her Indian servant, Abdul Karim, played by the Fukrey actor.