So, the most awaited Ajay Devgan film production ‘Parched’ has finally released, Parched is actually a year old film. It premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2015 and since then has traveled to various film festivals, winning awards.
In fact, it is already available on Netflix in the US. Finally people in India can experience a film that has been praised across the world.
Last week we had Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury’s Pink that told the story of three women. Parched tells us the story about Rani (Tannishta Chatterjee), Lajjo (Radhika Apte) and Bijli (Surveen Chawla).
While Pink had three women from the Capital city coming together fighting injustice, Parched deals with the same women in a different setting, far far away from the city.
The film revolves around 3 women living an unwanted life in a village of Rajasthan in the north-western region of India, which still suffers from old, age-ridiculed traditions like forced child marriages and other social issues like financial difficulties, maritial rape etc
Rani (Tannishtha Chatterjee), who has been a widow since young age, is trying to get her son, Gulab (Riddhi Sen), married to a beautiful girl, Janki (Lehar Khan), from the neighboring village.
Then there is Lajjo (Radhika Apte), a friend of Rani. They both are skilled and work for a local entrepreneur named Kishan (Sumeet Vyas). Lajjo is childless and wants to conceive desperately but fails. Due to this, her alcoholic husband, Manoj, batters her every night. The third woman is Bijli (Surveen Chawla), a local dancer, who is a feast for the eyes of village men. She not just dances but fulfils inner desires of many men during dry, sensuous nights of the village.
The men of village fear the development of the women and want to live the lifestyle left by their forefathers. The entwined story of these 3 women shows how they live in a controlled world, forced in by tradition, but in their private spaces, they talk about love, sex, and their dreams for the future.
The twist to the story comes when Rani discovers Janki is dishonored in her village, Lajjo is tired of the brutality of her husband, and Bijli is jealous of a new girl who might replace her.
This leads to a journey of freedom.
The conversations the three women have is the best part of the film – their conversations are bold, funny & filled with giggles.(Esp their Sex Talk)
The screen play could have been a little more interesting & tighter…the movie tends to become slightly boring & slows down post intermission.
The concept & theme explored in this film is nothing new or fresh..but Director Leena Yadav has given it a fresh execution.
Few scenes, especially the scenes showcasing a great deal of violence unleashed on the women, are very harsh.
The film is beautifully shot by Mr Russell Carpenter (Titanic, Jobs). He adds a lot of value to the film, especially the erotic rural love making scene between Adil Hussain & Radhika Apte shot inside a cave, looks so beautiful & aesthetically choreographed.
Actor Sayani Gupta shines in a small role as Champa, Sumeet Vyas is fantastic & Mr Adil Hussain is simply brilliant in that small silent role.
Upcoming actor Riddhi Sen is simply amazing as the spoilt son of Rani.
Overall, Parched is not a memorable tale of women empowerment but genuinely shines. Give it a try this week.