Suppressed, physically abused, tortured, insulted - these are some of the headlines about women that we keep hearing and reading about in all media forums on a regular basis.
The common factor about all these headlines is that each of them refers to women residing in rural India. But director Bappaditya Bandopadhyay takes this beyond rural India by having a parallel protagonist representing urban India in this hard hitting tale about women exploitation in all sections of society.
Inspired from a true story, 'Devaki' has already been acclaimed internationally in number of film festivals where it has been shown in last few months.
Devaki [Suman Rangnathan] is a village girl who is deprived of all her happiness and joy in a young age itself when she is forced to marry a man more than triple her age. This 70 years old man turns out to be impotent and to make matters worst, in the first night itself she is raped by her brother-in-law.
Meanwhile there is a story about an urban woman Nandini [Perizaad Zorabian] running in parallel. An NGO activist, she works in the same village where Devaki lives.
Seeing atrocities on women and other feudal practices, she decides to leave everything behind and go back to the city. But to her horror she finds that even cities had the same attitude towards women as in the villages.
There is no respite for her even in her new job as she comes face to face with her father who had left behind his family number of years back.
Incidentally the advertising agency that she joins belongs to her father who now wants to use her for catching hold of a new business deal.
His offer? An urban reality. He wants her to sleep with the client!
Life of both Devaki and Nandini are in turmoil. Neither of them have either an emotional or an economic support inspite of a completely different social background.
Both are distraught and shattered with life turning out to be completely meaningless for them.
And then comes light at the end of the tunnel for Devaki when true love comes in the form of a young low cast boy. She starts getting her life back in order as she gets all the respect and love from the boy that she would have ever wanted.
But this happiness too doesn't remain with her forever as she is caught by the villagers during her intimate moments with her lover.
As prevalent in the villages, the case reaches 'Panchayat' where a verdict is about to be announced to mark her fate.
In the meanwhile her punishment is to keep holding a heavy stone over her head while a decision is awaited.
Her punishment? It is decided that she would be put up for an open auction and the money coming from the highest bid would be passed on to her old husband!
And who turns out to be her eventual bidder? Again an old man!
On the other hand the scenario is not very different in Nandini's life as she too goes ahead and sleeps with the client to take revenge on her father.
Her client - again an old man!
A poignant tale narrating the state of women in this world where social status, literacy level and, economic independence hold no meaning when it comes to treatment meted out to women, 'Devaki' is a Toubro Infotech & Industries Ltd. production that also stars Arvin Tukker and Ram Kapoor.