Parched: The Quest for Freedom & Equality!
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Reviewer’s Thumb Mark
Leena Yadav's 'Parched' is a pitched battle between the present age Durgas and Mahisasurs of our society. It is a peek into the age old gender insensitivity and inequality existing in our country. Leena chose a desert village in Rajastan as the backdrop to narrate a compelling story about three women Rani (Tannishtha Chatterjee), Lajjo (Radhika Apte), Bijli (Surveen Chawla) and a child bride Janaki (Lehar Khan) who battles with the harsh realities of their life.
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Parched, beautifully narrates the quest for freedom and equality desired by these four women. Rani a widow is left to take care of her bedridden old mother-in-law and is under debt because of the loan she has taken to pay the dowry to bring a daughter-in-law for her wayward teenaged son Gulab (Riddhi Sen). She has no one except her friends to vent her emotions and anger which she keeps otherwise veiled from the rest of the world. Lajjo goes through silently an abusive marriage where her husband batters her day in and day out for being barren. Bijli a modern nautch girl who camps in villages with her master's travelling troupe not only dance but also entertain clients who are interested in carnal pursuits brought in by her boss. Janaki a reluctant bride has her own secrets to keep and is constantly abused by Gulab.
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Last week we had Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury's Pink in theatres and for discussions on blogs, dinner tables and cafes. This week we have Parched set in rural India. Both the movies raise common issues like - gender bias, domestic violence, marital rape etc.
The women in the movie has given a fabulous performance duly supported by the actors like Adil Hussain, Sumeet Vyas, Riddhi Sen, and Chetan Sharma. Riddhi Sen and Chetan Sharma are actors who need to get more opportunities to display their talents. Chetan Sharma's 'Saankal' directed by Dedipya Joshi is yet another women centric movie which has already made waves in many film festivals in India and abroad. Mirch Masala, Angry Indian Goddesses, Kajarya, Jugni, Nil Battey Sannata, Pink to name a few has made a very positive impact on its audience and has left many for wanting more from these filmmakers.
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Parched since its release abroad an year ago is on a high worldwide and I am sure its release in India has already generated positive responses and constructive discussions around the cause it raises. Parched is a must watch not because of its story but because it makes us reflective and more responsible towards all humans irrespective of gender, class, rural and urban divide. It reiterates the importance for freedom for women and celebrating womanhood.
Life Connoisseur Movie Rating: 4/5
Cast: Tannishtha Chatterjee (Rani), Radhika Apte (Lajjo), Surveen Chawla (Bijli), Leher Khan (Janaki), Adil Hussain, Sumeet Vyas, Sayani Gupta, Riddhi Sen, Chetan Sharma
Director: Leena Yadav
Producer: Ajay Devgn
Written by: Leena Yadav
Music by: Hitesh Sonik
Cinematography: Russell Carpenter
Production: Ajay Devgn FFilms
Release Date: 23rd September, 2016
Duration: 118 Minutes