Monday, April 16, 2007
One more weekend has passed without making any impact on my life…Last Sunday, it was Vishu…First time in life, Vishu passed without any celebration…Reason…I am in this Garden City…miles away from my home town…I was very much disappointed about this Vishu I have spent here in Bangalore…But yesterday, I happened to see the holywood movie Provoked by Jagmohan Mundhra. This movie is adapted from the autobiography of Kiranjith Ahluwalia, “Circle of Light“. ‘Provoked’ tells us a true story of a woman who suffered for years at the hands of her abusive husband. The movie doesn’t give a detailed account of the psyche or conditioning of its victim and offender, but gives a clear insight of a women’s incredible tale of abuse. Instead of going into the minds of its characters, the movie skims the story’s surface only.
Role of Kiranjit has been played by Aishwarya Rai. Kiranjit, a submissive girl from Punjab came to England after she gets married to Deepak. The vile man beats, cheats, mistreats and abuses his wife physically, sexually and verbally. The only ray of happiness in her life is her two kids. One day, Kiranjit decides to take no more abuse from Deepak and puts a gasoline soaked rug on him and sets him on fire. The trial fails to establish a prolonged background of domestic violence and the jury declares her guilty. She is sentenced to life imprisonment in 1989. In the prison she finds a friend in a white inmate named Veronica Scott, who has booked for stabbing her husband. Meanwhile, a group of Asian social workers called Southall Black Sisters, headed by Radha (played by Nandita Das) take Kiranjit’s cause and begin to garner support for her case to be retried. These women prove to be a driving force in Kiranjit’s life. While she brushes up her English speaking skills, Radha and her team create an awareness of Kiranjit’s case by posting banners and flyers asking for support. Veronica uses her contacts to help Kiranjit file an appeal. What follows is a historical verdict in British judiciary in 1992. Kiranjit is acquitted and reunited with her kids.
Provoked is an important story which definitely needs to be told. The treatment is realistic and the acting is mostly commendable, especially Aishwarya’s. She infuses life into the movie with her very convincing portrayal of Kiranjit. Ash’s eyes are highly expressive in many scenes and her dialogue delivery in Punjabi is absolutely credible. Nandita Das is also effective in her small part. Miranda Richardson is impressive as Veronica Scott. Also A R Rahman’s soulful music and Madhu Ambat’s camera work is also comendable. Story ends with the words from Kiranjith saying to each and every mothers to advise their sons to treat the women better. Its clearlly giving a message that ‘Never do what I did in life. But at the same time never suffer in a bad marriage. If you are unhappy in a marriage, get out of it.’ ‘Provoked’ is a film made with good intentions, which leaves the hard-hitting impact on viewers, clearly justifying its incredibly important subject. Kiranjit’s story will def compels us to think about the ugly issue prevalent in both modern and traditional societies. I felt the film a touching one. I never knew, when my eyes were filled with tears and why that happened too, whether those are tears of happiness or sadness… Anyway the movie left a very good impression on me…