Rahul Bose is a brilliant actor. Most people know this to be true, but still he remains modest about his own talent.

“I have a job and I do it,” he says when asked about how he prepares for a role. “I am no different from a taxi driver that has to know his job.”

Bose does his job exceedingly well in the new film, Before the Rains. The storyline of the film is set in the south of India at a time when there was a strong division between the Indian people and the British settlers that occupied their land.

Bose portrays T.K., a young Indian man from a local village that works for a British plantation owner. T.K. straddles the line between the two cultures and indeed, Bose’s fantastic portrayal of him is the cement that holds the story together as the lives of the other characters in the film fall apart. The choices he makes drive the tension forward and fuel the drama that makes this an exceptional presentation.

“This is a story about friendship and loyalty. This film is about traditions and values versus progress and change. It is about how far you will go to protect a friend and what you will do without even thinking about the consequences,” he says. “It made me think about my own choices and what I would have done in the same circumstances.”

When asked if the time period in which the film is set influenced his performance at all, it became obvious why Bose is a prolific and gifted actor.

“This film is about many things,” he says, “but it is mostly about the people in the story and not the time period the story is in. Even though this movie is set in a specific historical period, this is not the main focus of the film to me.”

He continues, “As an actor you focus on the emotion no matter when it is supposed to be. When you say ‘I love you’ it needs to be believed regardless of what time period you are supposed to be in.”

The fact that Merchant Ivory presents this film does not escape Bose.

“When you see the name Merchant Ivory attached, you know what kind of film it is,” he boasts. “You know what to expect from that kind of a film.” Those expectations are met and exceeded once again. The cinematography is gorgeous. The perfectly framed and composed shots add a rich depth to the overall feel of the film.

Before the Rains is a memorable journey through a mysterious, foreign land of desire, class, culture, dreams and honor. It takes us to places seldom seen. It makes us view many things that may not be a part of our own reality, in a way that makes us want to visit them again and again. It is a showcase for the many talented actors that bring the tale to life, but it is a tour de force for Rahul Bose.

Before the Rains releases in select theaters May 9.