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Provoked Review

Review by IndiaGlitz [ Monday, April 9, 2007 • Hindi ]
Provoked Review
Aishwarya Rai, Nandita Das, Robbie Coltrane, Miranda Richardson
Jagmohan Mundhra
A.R. Rehman

AGNISAKSHI - That's the movie one remembers when the gory saga of Naveen Andrews beating, harassing and abusing his all-silence-and-hardly-revolting wife Aishwarya Rai is on the screen. While in AGNISAKSHI, Manisha Koirala escapes from the clutches of Nana Patekar only to make a filmy encounter with him again, this time with angel Jackie Shroff in tow, none of this happens in PROVOKED.

Well, the character of Ash doesn't give rise to an opportunity like this. She sets her husband on fire only to find herself behind the bar and later being released with help of her sympathetic jail inmate [Miranda Richardson] and a social activist organization represented by Nandita Das.

Let's not talk too much about the storyline and the basic plot as film maker Jag Mundhra and his team of PR and media planners have made the world enough aware about what is in store in PROVOKED. Such an act works both in advantage and disadvantage of a film. Advantage, since the viewer is very much aware about the expectations from the film. Disadvantage, since due to a theme like this, not many are expected to be making a beeline in front of theaters.

After all more often than not, one looks for entertainment while watching a film. PROVOKED with its theme and especially the title doesn't quite promise that, with or without Aishwarya Rai looming large on the billboards. And this is where an entire promotional strategy makes such a difference to place the film in front of audience.

Though the film's subject is dark, it still has some gripping enough moments to keep you engrossed in the affair; especially the way numerous flashbacks are woven into the screenplay to create the much desired effect. In fact it is nothing short of being eerie whenever Ash takes you back in time while remembering/narrating her tale since every time Naveen Andrews appears on screen; you know that there would be torture galore on screen. You do cringe on your seat but thankfully the events are not prolonged hence saving you from much mental agony but nevertheless leaving behind a scar.

In a film that boasts of being a true story, there aren't any cinematic liberties that a film maker can take and this is why it is a welcome relief to see a film sans any unnecessary 'draamebaazi'. Be it her home or jail, the story sticks to the basics without going overboard. This is the reason why one doesn't quite see Ash turning a la Urmila Matondkar as in EK HASEENA THI. What she does do though is learn English, change her wardrobe and increasingly become confident about her self and about her rights.

Yes, Naveen is all black and he would be so whereas Ash is all white and even that would be so. You do suspect if there were some other shades to the characters too but then you do take it all on a face value. On the other hand supporting characters like the ones played by Miranda Richardson [very good] and Nandita Das [decent] are believable too.

For a film like this, it is of utmost importance for the background music and cinematography to be quite up to standards to create the desired impact. In that sense both A.R.Rahman and Madhu Ambat respectively deliver as per the requirement. Editing is one fine area for the film too since the story is narrated under 2 hours hence keeping the film in international format.

Aishwarya Rai gets to play a central character in a film after number of years and she doesn't disappoint at all. She shows that given an opportunity, she can shed her glam doll image and do something worthwhile in front of camera, something that she demonstrated in GURU early this year. Naveen Andrews has been consistently seen in Brit-India collaboration cinema and this is yet another instance of a good act on screen.

So what happens after one watches the film? Except for the so

Rating: 0 / 5.0

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