Barnett Brickner says that ?Success in marriage does not come merely through finding the right mate, but through being the right mate.? This is something each one of us should keep in our minds.
It?s not uncommon to hear ?Why do women stay in abusive relationships?? or ?Why don?t they leave?? Being brought up in an Asian culture where women were expected to be quiet and not protest against injustice in their marriage, how many Indian women try to pave their way out of an unhappy marriage? What happens if nothing gets better with time and every minute of the relationship was just pain? What is the threshold of fortitude and obedience? What about the end of such a relationship? ?Provoked?, answers all this complicated questions of domestic disharmony in 1hr and 45min time span.
?Provoked?, is a film directed by Jagmohan Mundhra and adapted from the autobiography, Circle of Light written by Kiranjit Ahluwalia and Rahila Gupta. It reveals to us in reel the real life incident of Kiranjit (Aishwariya Rai). Provoked is the story of a maltreated Punjabi housewife and mother of two in London, who is unable to bear the brutality and repeated rapes by her alcoholic husband. If she wants the nightmare to end, there is a rule of thumb which requires courage and determination to execute, but will she try it? What happens to her next?
The tag line reads ?Her suffering was unimaginable. Her solution, unthinkable?, the movie talks it all in the intermittent flashbacks showing Kiranjit?s spousal nightmare, cut deep and hard into the narrative. There is the sense of catharsis in the character portrayal of the protagonist, sequences are interwoven with utmost slyness.
Jagmohan Mundhra manages in gripping the viewers to the story. He should have spent less time trying to milk melodrama out of the story at most parts throughout the movie. As a result important issues get buried in more obvious tugs at heart strings that incidentally fail to do their job. The movie just gives a vague idea about the mindset of the story?s characters. Besides all this, the movie copes to keep your eyes open and your minds thinking. The background music by A.R. Rahman adds a score.
Aishwariya Rai – Although she doesnt completely succeed in getting under the skin of the character, she portrays the role with tremendous confidence. She does succeed to some extent in making us feel the pain of Kiranjit Ahluwalia. One of her most sensitive performances to date, far better than those of other movies like the ?Mistress of Spice? or ?Bride and Prejudice?
Naveen Andrews ? He is portrayed as nothing more than a monster, and he carries it out flawlessly. The moment he appears on screen, you feel like killing him. Great throughout, although I wish he was given more of a role to play with.
Nandita das, as an activist, hams her way through much of the film. Not her best shot.
Rest of the cast has done a good job.
Positive ? In large parts ?Provoked? manages to capture the essence of the real life story perfectly. Great performance by Aishwariya Rai and Andrews adds grace to the movie. Relatively good direction and story is portrayed fairly well.
Negative ? The film is over stuffed with rather inept scenes that could easily have been removed in editing. As a result, the question which needed to be asked becomes a damp squib instead.
Box office Prediction – I dont see Provoked setting the box office on fire. But it sure will have its own set of audience, who am sure will appreciate it. Provoked ? not so thought elicit.
Rating: (Give it a go)