In 1857, the British East India Company ruled over India with all the cultural understanding of Bernard Manning. It's an era unsurprisingly skirted over in UK schools, with the Brits ridiculing age-old customs, calling their subjects "dogs" or "niggers" and prostituting local women.
But when the contemptible rulers issue cartridge papers smothered in the grease of meat sacred to the locals, rebellion is at hand. Leading the uprising is Mangal Pandey (Aamir Khan), but he's pally with English Captain William Gordon (Die Another Day's Toby Stephens)...
Ketan Mehta's epic drama is unquestionably a lavish labour of love. At two-and-a-half hours, though, The Rising is sometimes tough going, with occasional lapses into Bollywood-style dance fervour interrupting the action. But Khan is intense and charismatic enough to hold your attention, the scale and ambition impress and peering into Blighty's murky past proves intermittently fascinating.