2016 is a good year for movies in Bollywood, as some of the most brilliant cinematic masterpieces have been released this year. On September 16, Pink was released which has been able to garner positive reviews for all the right reasons. There’s finally a movie that portrays women right, and now that it’s being lauded for the concept and acting, it has become a movement. Pink, as a story of three young and independent girl, was based in an urban setting. Parched, however, has a rural setting but still is easily hits the right chord.
Leena Yadav directed Parched revolves around the lives of four rural women who have to fight against the society and its stigma to learn the freedom is the only thing they need to survive.
Women have never been able to get the status they deserve, and the condition worsens when it comes to villages. Young girls and women fall prey to the patriarchal society that uses every chance to further degrade their position in the society. It has become so rigid that even women themselves believe that they’re always going to be inferior to men. Killing of girl children after birth, child marriage, boycotting widows are some of the things that are still followed.
Amidst such an environment, four rebels reside. Each with their own story, a social outcast trying to fit into a place that’s never going to see beyond their self made stereotypes. Starring Radhika Apte, Tannishtha Chatterjee, Surveen Chawla and Leher Khan in pivotal roles, their characters Lajjo, Rani, Bijli and Janaki respectively are given the roles of women who are looked down upon the most in such a society.
Radhika Apte’s character Lajjo is a women who can’t conceive a child. A society where motherhood is considered to be the most important job of a woman, she as an infertile woman is subject to a lot of abuse by the hands of her husband. Rani, a widow who has a son completely ruining his life in alcohol and whoring, marries him to Janaki who’s just 15 years old. Complications arise in their lives with Gulab (the son) becomes just like his father, and Rani knows this is not what she wanted him to be.
Bijli, according to me, is the best character in the movie. Surveen Chawla plays Bijli, who is a prostitute. She is the source of pleasure for almost every man in the village, but still she isn’t given a status in the society. The condition of prostitutes, in real life be it rural areas or urban, is the same. She chose this life for herself, and doesn’t shy away from accepting who she is. Bold, beautiful and the most carefree character of all, Bijli’s ideologies make her a rebel at heart.
Breaking away from all stereotypes, Leena Yadav has made a masterpiece that is worth all the international acclaim it has been garnering. Parched is a movie that will make you question whether we live in a fair and just world or not. The most beautiful part of the movie is it’s climax where the women finally find an escape from all the complexities and break free. Every actor has done a brilliant job in portraying their character, not overdone or underdone. Parched is a movie you’ll be remembering for quite a long time.
Produced by Ajay Devgn, Parched releases in India on 23rd September.