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Jewel in the crown

jewel in the crown

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Jewel in the crown -

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She soon comes to the notice of two men, each of whom is interested in her attentions, a policeman and a highly-educated Indian who works as a reporter.

It's not long before the two men clash and the Indian finds himself in no position to fend off his officious adversary. The fact that the girl soon falls in love with him only escalates his difficulties with the British authorities and with his policeman rival in particular.

This introductory tableau which launches the chronicle and tragic events, both personal and national, effectively punctuate this saga, continuing to drive it in a serpentine manner to its historic conclusion.

But the transition to the independence of India is definitely the wallpaper to the greater melodrama of the lives of the primary characters, both Indian and British.

Additional subplots have been nicely worked into the script such as the running conflict between certain Muslim and Hindu factions.

The style of screenwriting and directing is copiously refreshing -- often an event is initially conveyed and the backstory follows, a storytelling technique well known to fans of William Faulkner Snopes: The cinematography is terrific as are the numerous sets and locations.

Still, some will find this mini-series, to be candid, boring. For me, though, the viewing experience was quite the reverse. I don't need fast-paced action scenes, stacked one following another Hollywood-style, in order to digest an enthralling historical yarn.

The theme here is generally anti-action, punctuated by a roller-coater approach to injecting events into the tale at unanticipated intervals.

Think of this saga chiefly as a pure novel of life rather than as an historical period presentation. My personal experience manifested a nice balance between the romance, the class, racial, and religious interactions between the characters, and a fascinating historical setting, all positioned within an exotic eastern realm.

As to the specific quality of the DVD presentation, this isn't high-definition by any means but it's infinitely watchable and I am wholly satisfied on that front.

Highly recommended for enthusiasts of either British drama or the history of India. The best series ever made about the effects of imperialism and racism on everyone, not just on the people targeted but on the whites who stood by and watched it happen and profited from it.

While I found the Raj quartet sluggish reading, the series did a great job capturing the massive ambivalence and hypocrisy of all concerned.

The season ending show with the train scene and Ronald Merrick's end had remained etched in my mind for many, many years I saw the original airing a few decades ago.

When I saw it was available to stream I just had to see it again. The theme throughout the show "there's nothing I can do" described best how badly oppression can dehumanize both the oppressor and oppressed.

As an African-American, seeing a group of people we now often see as oppressors to us in our communities in the U. Hence, possibly, the origin of "there's nothing I can do.

Again, the best series ever made in my opinion. Also, I became an Art Malik fan for life! One person found this helpful.

The DVD itself is scratchy, over colorized, and clearly has not been digitally remastered. Its transfer from VHS format was just that: At times it is difficult to hear the actors over other sounds going on in the film.

This deserves better treatment as one of television's classics and among some of the most historical pieces done for TV. I also have the latest in equipment, i.

This may add to what I'm seeing. See all reviews. What other items do customers buy after viewing this item? There's a problem loading this menu right now.

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NR Not Rated Studio: March 27, Run Time: Hari considers himself English and feels lost in his new life in India. A crime shatters their life and Hari is falsely accused along with some of his friends, despite testimony from Daphne proclaiming his innocence.

The charges are brought by the local Police Superintendent Ronald Merrick, who knows Hari is innocent, yet harbors ill will as a rival for Daphne's affections.

The middleclass Merrick is also resentful of Hari's privileged education and has a sadistic inner nature. This false accusation becomes one element adding fuel to independence movement and a rallying cry for radicals.

However, this issue also moves somewhat to the back of the viewers consciousness as the series focuses on new characters and events that still have some relationship to the originals.

Merrick is the closest thing to a central character as he interacts with the Layton family. The story focuses more on Sarah Layton the rest of the way.

Again, rivalries come into play among many suitors and the march continues to the ever unraveling of Merrick's treachery and the ultimate departure of the Raj.

This TV series is highly symbolic and metaphorical. We don't see the macro events of the country in progress so much as the effect it has on the numerous protagonists.

Individual lives are used as a microcosm to illustrate what is happening in the country as a whole. The older upper class generation are staunched in their ways, and in many respects their bigotry.

The younger generation are adapting and breaking the code, but become isolated as they cross boundaries. Some older middleclass seem to question their faith and if they have done right.

There is plenty of self loathing and identity crisis, much as the country itself seeks to understand it's new identity. There are visual metaphors also, like the elderly missionary school teacher Miss Batchelor watches vultures circling the "Parsi Towers" where dead are temporarily taken to be devoured by the vultures before burial Zoroastrian thing.

Or the empty Governor's summer home, perched high in the hills and hinting of former glory. Though this is a widely acclaimed series with a strong fan base, I want to be fair to some audiences as they read the expected overwhelmingly positive reviews.

The show is outstanding for it's meticulous construction, complicated sub plots and masterful character development. However, many of those central characters are not that sympathetic while others you will fall in love with.

The meticulous construction means that the story will plod very slowly to some viewers, particularly younger crowds not used to this kind of story.

Even some strong fans of the show will admit it slows heavily in the middle to late episodes before the rousing end. I make no judgments and leave it to each family to decide.

The length and detail of the show make it more of an adult program and difficult for young attention spans anyway.

There is some brief male nudity mainly from behind during interrogation scenes. The violence is mainly in the periphery of the audiences' view as we see the aftermath of various events including blood and death.

Scenes of intimacy don't really show anything. Questions of sexuality are part of the story at some junctures. Breaking taboos, departing from social mores, or crossing lines is part of the story, but treaded very lightly by today's standards.

The story is so diverse that there are many leading actors. In fact, this program took up all of the Bafta nominations for leading actress with Peggy Ashcroft taking honors.

Tim Pigott-Smith won leading actor as well. I mentioned the excellent performances. It represents a move away from the more melodramatic style of stage acting in the 70's to a more natural style seen now.

This helps the program age quite well. Whether you can tolerate the meticulous pace or not, it's hard to deny the masterful production of a great work.

The historical context and ability to express the personality of the Raj demise through personalities of the characters was quite exceptional.

I don't think I could watch it over and over, though I am sure others can. I still give it my highest recommendation within the context of what I described.

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Available to watch on supported devices. Merrick strongly believes that whites are the natural rulers of the world and non-whites must be made subject to them.

He also believes that non-whites cannot ever improve their position and that they must be reminded of this. For his own part, however, Merrick seeks to climb the ladder of British society.

He is intelligent, resourceful, and ruthless in both his quests: Merrick uses the appearance of frankness and honesty as a tool to impress his social betters.

He often reminds them that he is "only a grammar school boy" and not, for example, the product of an exclusive school like Chillingborough.

Other characters in the story become important when Merrick "chooses" them for his personal attention. He chooses Hari Kumar, because Kumar represents what Merrick hates most, a dark skinned man who thinks he is as good as whites.

He also chooses Daphne Manners, who represents to him an opportunity to attain a higher social class.

However, Daphne soon becomes something else he hates, a white who thinks of Indians as equals. Actually, to Merrick, Kumar might be the more important figure.

It is strongly suggested that Merrick is a repressed homosexual , and his fascination with Kumar reflects not only his racist tendencies, but also a sexual attraction to the handsome and educated Indian and the resulting self-loathing for being attracted to a non-white.

This comes out with the sexual aspects of Merrick's torturing of Kumar after Daphne's rape. Kumar's father, Duleep Kumar, had been a successful businessman who hoped that his son could become English.

So, he moved to Didbury and sent his son to Chillingborough, an exclusive public school. Hari has thus lived his youth as a privileged British boy.

However, before Hari can finish school and take his place in English society, his father dies - bankrupt. Kumar has no money and nowhere to go, except back to India, to live with his father's widowed sister, Shalini Gupta Sem.

His Aunt Shalini loves him, but Hari is shocked by the standard of living in India. And he is surprised to find that, whereas in England, he was largely accepted as a member of the upper classes, in British India, he is denied all entrance to Indian British society.

In Britain he had grown up and been educated, as a non-white presence within the level of the professional class; he could live and function as an Indian within British society, in England.

But in British India this was impossible, all Europeans lived, worked and functioned as a separate racially privileged class, separated from non-whites; regardless of their economic, educational, or social station.

Kumar is lost and from his point of view, he has no present and no future. He has only his past and he clings to it through his correspondence with his school friend Colin Lindsey.

At first, Colin continues to treat Hari like his best friend, but the relationship begins to grow distant, and once Colin himself joins the army and comes to India, he cuts Hari off.

Hari even comes face-to-face with Colin on the cricket pitch and Colin fails even to recognize his old friend. After failed attempts to enter the business of his Aunt Shalini's brother-in-law, Romesh Chand Gupta Sen, Hari finally finds his place as a copy editor and writer at the Mayapore Gazette , an English-language newspaper.

It's the one place in Mayapore where his English background benefits him. Hari meets Daphne Manners, who treats him as he was used to being treated, a gentleman, and in her he finds an escape from his present nightmare.

Hari's steadfast refusal to speak in his own defence, and his sticking to an unconvincing denial and the assertion that he hadn't met Daphne on that fateful night, seems suspicious to British and Indians alike.

Ironically, his conduct is derived from strict adherence to the code of honour of the British ruling class, as instilled in the graduates of public schools - whereby one's word is a sacred bond which must be kept at whatever cost, all the more so when the word was given to one's beloved and her good name is at stake.

The only one to realize this is Daphne, who loves Hari and understands him, and who in a perceptive moment says "What they don't understand is that Hari is an English boy".

While several of this book's characters feature prominently also in later books of the series, Hari Kumar hardly appears after the end of this one.

Daphne is repeatedly described as plain or large or unattractive or, in her own words, "galumphing". She is a bespectacled tomboy who has, as a result of the war , lost both her parents and her brother.

Her closest living relative is her great-aunt, Ethel Manners, who lives in India. So, she goes to live in India.

Auntie Ethel sees that Daphne doesn't have enough company of her own age in Rawalpindi , so she sends her to live with her old friend, Lady Chatterjee, in Mayapore.

Daphne was working as an ambulance driver during the Blitz in England, but a heart condition required her to stay away from such excitement.

She is a high-spirited, good-natured girl, who is shocked by the race prejudice shown by the English in India.

She tires of their shallow entertainments and finds herself attracted to a young Indian, Hari Kumar, who went to Chillingborough, just like her brother did.

Indeed, unlike most of the English in Mayapore, Hari seems to be of the same social class as Daphne and they seem to have more in common with each other than anyone else.

At the same time, Daphne is courted by Ronald Merrick, the local police chief. She senses something sinister about Merrick, and is put off when he lectures her about the propriety of relationships of any kind between whites and Indians.

Eventually, she falls in love with Hari, and circumstances lead them to consummate their love at the Bibighar Gardens.

Unfortunately, this happens during a period of civil unrest in the province and throughout India. Daphne and Hari are interrupted in their post-coital embrace by a gang of toughs who bind Hari, put a bag over Daphne's head, and rape her repeatedly.

Her first instinct is to protect Hari, and she sends him away with instructions to say nothing except that he has not seen her.

To her chagrin, this backfires, when Hari refuses to speak in his own defence except to say that he has not seen Daphne. Daphne refuses to co-operate in the prosecution of Hari and the other educated, middle-class boys who have been arrested in connection with the investigation.

This earns her the enmity of much of the British community in India. She is seen as a traitor to her race for protecting her brown rapists and for wanting to bear the resulting child.

In the end, Daphne longs for Hari and longs to present him with their child. However, her heart ailment betrays her and she does not survive the childbirth.

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