What happens when a woman is pushed to the hilt?
What happens when her suffering becomes unimaginable?
What happens when the only way to escape is death - either yours or your tormentor's?
What happens when the tormentor is none other than your husband?
That's the essence of Jagmohan Mundhra's 'Provoked' that is slated to release early next year. Starring Aishwarya Rai in the lead, it is based on a story about a woman who was based in London.
For her, it seemed like a perfect recipe of life to get married to a man in London. A charm of living abroad, no worries whatsoever financially and a dream of a better future ahead - she seemed to have everything for her.
Well, the dream seemed to be short-lived since her husband [Naveen Andrews] turned out to be an alcoholic who took sadistic pleasure in assaulting her physically and mentally. Things didn't improve even after they had two children and the situation became intolerable for her on a continued basis.
One day the limits were crossed and in a fit of anger and defense, she was left with no option but to kill her very own husband. She set him on fire and found herself behind bars for her so-called-crime! Her punishment was life time imprisonment but she was instead relieved. Why? Because behind bars she finally found life......and freedom!
She started picking up ropes of her life and became adjusted with the situation at the prison. Support came from her cellmate, a British woman, who was financially quite well-off and had a Queen's Counsel as a brother. On hearing her plight, she helped her file an appeal through her brother and soon the momentum increased when a motley group of South Asian social workers running a under founded organization called Southall Black Sisters brought in media attention by organizing rallies to gather public support for her freedom.
Her voice was finally been heard and there seemed to be a better tomorrow ahead. A tomorrow that would help her unite with her children and keep her head high in esteem.
A landmark case began by the name of Regina v/s Ahluwalia was contested and went through its own share of hassles and controversies. There were defendants on both sides and the going was certainly not going to be a cakewalk.
But ultimately the truth prevailed and she was freed by the judicial system. Reunited with her children, she was in fact even given an award by the Prime Minister's wife for her crusade against domestic violence.
Also starring Nandita Das, Robbie Coltrane and Miranda Richardson, 'Provoked' has music by A.R. Rehman. The film is produced by Sunanda Murali Manohar who had earlier made 'Ramji Londonwaale', a delightful but horribly promoted and released film that starred Madhavan in the lead. One hopes that this is not the case with 'Provoked' which has been in news for months now but is still waiting for its theatrical release.