Friday, December 16, 2011

Phil goes Bollywwod: Phil watches PROVOKED (2006)-December 14, 2011

Tonight's film isn't your average Bollywood film. In fact, it isn't a Bollywood film at all. There are no song and dance numbers, no beautiful shots of India's majestic countrysides, no romantic love story, and no happy ending. This film is based on a true story and it deals with some serious issues and topics: murder, injustice, faith, and spousal abuse. Not the usual fare that one would expect from a Indian film, but nonetheless, an incredible and important film to see. Starring the amazing Aishwarya Rai, the film PROVOKED grabs your attention from the very start and doesn't let go till the final frame.

Theatrical Movie Poster (2006)
The film is based on the true story of Kiranjit Ahluwalia (Rai), a Punjabi woman who moved to London after marrying her new husband Deepak Ahluwalia (Naveen Andrews). All seems fine in the beginning, but his true nature is revealed, and soon Kiranjit is subjected to physical abuse, his drinking and sleeping with other women, and also rape. After ten years and two children, Kiranjit has reached her breaking point after suffering another beating two hour earlier, and sets her abusive husband on fire, which leads him to his death. In a blatant mistrial, she is found guilty of murder and is sentenced to life in prison. However, coming to her aid are the Southall Black Sisters, which fights against domestic violence, and they help Kiranjit get a retrial. She is released after spending 3 1/2 years in prison and is reunited with her children.

This film was a complete shock, considering what I have been watching up to this point. Rai was very good in the film, and what really impressed me was how I could see her dancing around and being funny and sexy in one film and then see her in this film which is a complete 180! Here Rai is plain: no make up, her hair unglamorous, and looking like like she has just gone through Hell. She literally become Kiranjit and is just riveting to watch. I love horror films, but nothing can compare to the horrors of domestic violence, not to mention being raped by your husband. The film is amazing, and Rai is just incredible! Outstanding performance!

The film was released in the United Kingdom on April 6, 2007 to mixed reviews. I personally really enjoyed the film, as it shines on really important issues and such. Some critics panned Rai's performance, saying that her, "acting is frustratingly passive." Now we all know the old saying, "Everybody's a critic" but let me say this: we all have our opinions. Some people will like this movie, others might not. But never let other people influence your decision of what films to see. See everything and anything, just once to see whether you'll like it or not. Remember never judge a book by its cover, or in this case never judge a film by its poster.

PROVOKED is a powerful and moving film, and one of Aishwarya Rai's best films. If you want to see a film that really tries to make a difference in the world, then see this film! Five out of five stars!

PROVOKED is currently available on DVD and can be purchased at your local video retailer or at Amazon. Visit their website at

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show!

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