There is some scope for his panoramic cinematography. There are trains, as there were in Zhivago, Kwai and Lawrence. The Indian Railways are surely the crowning glory among the good things the British left behind. Trains pierce through the vast plains or the lush green hills. Crowded railway stations, where the select mingle with commoners and dogs, and the military bands blare a welcome. Luxurious , lurching dining cars, where the white man preens. Every white man seems to have been like a king, merely by virtue of skin colour. The sublime and battered erotic sculptures in the forest, which send the young post Victorian heroine into a dizzy spell. There are some magnificent closing shots of the Himalayas, worthy of the maker of Lawrence of Arabia.
Attenboroughs Gandhi is a far more texturally accurate account of the period under narration. Satyajit Ray's Chess Players remains unmatched for it's understanding of the British period. Through the finely etched and inspired portraits of General Outram and Nawab Wajid Ali, he captures the essence like a two-sided mirror.
Finally, I seem to have outgrown Lean as my idol of younger years. But a movie well worth the penny.
Roger Ebert's review