Independence took a lot away from us as a country, and partition was one big blow to the integrity of Indians. The freedom of India came with heavy prices and this one was just inevitable at that point of time. This act of partition was brutal, left lacs of people homeless, and is considered to be amongst the bloodiest times in both the countries’ history. Begum Jaan is a story set in the post-independence period where Vidya Balan plays the role of a ferocious brothel owner. The movie is a remake of a 2015 Bengali film, Rajkahini, which was directed by the same National award-winning director, Srijit Mukherjee.
The Radcliffe Line, a demarcation line was marked during the partition period to divide India and Pakistan. The movie starts when the officials get to know that this line is passing through a brothel belonging to a certain Begum Jaan. The officials try to warn the residents about leaving the place and make use of every trick in the book to evict the inhabitants of the brothel. Vidya Balan, playing the character of the owner of this brothel which happens to be in between Debiganj and Haldibari district, is a fearless and strong hearted character who struggles to hold on to what she believes is rightfully hers and not for an event in history to take away.
The story of the movie lies deep down in the issue of women empowerment and how women can take a stance against the injustice they are confronted to in the recent times. Rather, it is the tale of a fight for survival, honor and what is right. The women in the brothel along with Begum Jaan are evidently of different ethnicities, castes and religions, but none of that matters and they stand with each other in the times of need. The star cast is well balanced in this war drama. Pallavi Sharda has time and again delivered credible performances and Gauhar Khanas Rubina is the surprise package in an unconventional role that she has effortlessly pulled off. Chunky Pandey is seen in an unorthodox avatar and Naseeruddin Shah as the govt. official have pulled of their roles pretty well too.
The film has many messages when Vidya Balan fights against the partition of her house and the place where she has invested her whole life. The film is to be watched and pondered over because a battle won doesn’t mean that the war is over. This latest Hindi drama movie will take over your heart and brain and will make you think about a lot of things from a deeper perspective. If you haven’t watched this superb movie yet, do not wait for it to get on your television screens.