Review: Parched – Window into Regressive Sexist India (Trailer)
Women-centric movies are the flavour of the year 2016. And many of them have done well. Set in an isolated village in Kutch (Gujarat) with highly regressive social norms, ‘Parched’ by writer-director Leena Yadav is a tale, dark to start with but then full of optimistim, about the harsh treatment of women.
Leena’s earlier movies are highly acclaimed Shabd and Teen Patti.
The story of Parched has many perspectives with three rural women — a young widow Rani (played by Tannishtha Chatterjee); her vivacious best friend, Lajjo (Radhika Apte), who just want to have a baby with her abusive husband; and the erotic dancer Bijli (Surveen Chawla). They don’t challenge repressive patriarchy till Rani has to find a bride for her 15-year-old son.
The film explores old, age-ridiculed traditions like forced child marriages and social issues like financial difficulties, spousal and familial rape, and physically and emotionally abusive alcoholic husbands.
This makes the trio question a world in which their sexuality is both despised and coveted. They realise that they too are as parched as the arid desert they inhabit, and then set out to explore more than what they got till date. The movie, shot in exotic locations, has its lighter moments and will probably be a bigger hit in film festivals and international markets than India.
Recommendation: 3/5 (Interesting time-pass)