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Parched Review - about women's liberation; certainly no barren land this...

  • Sekhar GC

    Sekhar GC (623 DM Points)

    Desimartini | Updated - June 27, 2018 10:56 AM IST
    3.0DM (541 ratings)
    ParchedWatch trailerRelease date : September 23, 2016

    We all seek something in life. It can be money to some, fame to many, love to many more, nothing to a very few, and a million other things. Now, for these women in rural Rajasthan, it is liberation from the clutches of the male chauvinist pigs.

    About - It's been fifteen years since Rani was ever touched, or made to feel wanted or desired for, even since she became a window. Lajjo, on the other hand, always get abused physically by her drunk husband, who is generally nice during the day and in public. Then there is the electric Bijli, who has been a raand (sex worker) since she was 14-15... Not to mention Janki, who cuts her hair short, just to avoid an arranged marriage - that too at 15!

    There is a reel where the director beams us with a provocative thought on how almost all the cuss words coined are directed towards degenerating the female gender. Motherfucker and behenchod (sister-fucker), for instance... Or son of a bitch! Certain food for thought...

    One may not be able to help but notice that almost the entire technical team is from outside of India, for a subject that is about rural India today. Leena Yadav has made a film that may strike a chord with most developing or third world countries and bring laughs to the developed nations wondering why a film is made on such a subject in the 21st century, or simply make one think.

    It was very heartening to see that the backbone of this offbeat film was Ajay Devgn, as he has largely produced this.

    The performances are impeccable, right from Tannishtha Chatterjee to our very own Radhika Apte to the fiesty though subjugative Surveen Chawla. None of them miss a beat!

    Meanwhile, Riddhi Sen, as Gulab is terrific, fighting his own inner demons. Not surprising that he was awarded the Mahanayak Samman (Maha - great, nayak - actor, sammaan - honour) last year, for a film, Open Tee Bioscope, that I have put on my radar.

    Sayani Gupta appears in only one scene in the film, but leaves an impact.

    Interesting to note that this one also had a music consultant, Richard Ford, from the US. 'Interesting' because the film is based on and in rural India. Ford, for the record, has been collaborated with gem projects like Argo, Zero Dark Thirty, The Imitation Game, The Descendants, Money Monsters and The Training Day.

    Hitesh Soni's soundtrack is decent, for the most part, and sets the pace well, again going on to show how vital the sound of music is in cinema.

    While there may be spots in the way that may appear too whimsical, Parched makes for an enjoyable cinematic experience and is making the noises for the right reasons. It has also been winning awards globally, at the international film festivals, all the way from Stockholm to Melbourne to Toulouse to Los Angeles.

    No Masaan this, but this flick is noteworthy for it's earthy touch and social relevance. I hope/trust it gave tough competition to India's selection for the Best Foreign Language Film at the next Academy Awards, Visaranai (Tamil) that I am yet to watch.

    My verdict: 4 stars out of 5: for the important subject, the terrific performance by the actors, the breath of fresh air and for prodding us to think.

    - Sekhar, GCtheThinker.blogspot.com

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