The best thing about Parched is that it dispels any notions you might have about rural Indian women being prudes. Rani, Lajjo and Bijli are raunchier than most women you meet at your local Starbucks.  They love talking about sex.  In fact Bijli is a sex worker – her sales pitch is that a night with her will bring an earthquake in your bed.

The story is set in a fictional village in Gujarat.  These women are bound by centuries of rigid tradition.  Here girls are married at 14.  One married into the neighbouring village is routinely raped by her father-in-law and brother-in-law.  She comes home but is forced by the elders to return to her sasuraal.  Lajjo’s husband beats her mercilessly because she can’t bear children. Rani is a 32-year-old widow steeped in debt and unable to handle her headstrong, arrogant son.  Each day brings fresh misery but these feisty women manage to steal moments of happiness. They find slivers of joy and cheer with each other.

Director Leena Yadav who has also written the story has etched these women with great affection and compassion.  This sisterhood has a depth and strength that doesn’t crack – even when Rani’s son approaches Bijli with a bundle of notes.  The actresses playing the parts – Tannishtha Chatterjee, Radhika Apte and Surveen Chawla – deliver heartfelt performances.  They are defiantly strong and desperately sad.

And yet their pain didn’t pierce me in the way that Pink did last week.  There are moments here of genuine intimacy between the women.  Their bond and love is authentic.  But the larger narrative is inert and clunky – Parched feels like a film written to make larger points.  The events don’t flow organically and a few threads are just left hanging.  Leena hints at a sexual intimacy between Rani and Lajjo but then it’s never addressed again. And none of the male characters are even remotely interesting.  Most of them are abusive, alcoholic, sexual predators.  Adil Hussain pops in to do a Brad Pitt from Thelma and Louise – basically provide one night of great sex but the situation is utterly unconvincing.

Parched gets bogged down by its own good intentions. But these spirited female characters will stay with you.  So will the luscious cinematography by Oscar winner Russell Carpenter.

Did you like this blog?*
How did you find this blog?*
What kind of articles would you like to read on the blog?*

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in Anupama Chopra

  • M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story

    Let me begin with the confession that I know absolutely nothing about cricket. I’m one of the few people in this...

    Anupama ChopraSeptember 30, 2016
  • Banjo

    Somewhere inside Banjo is a sweet, spirited film about a band of slumdog musicians.  You can see it in the innovative...

    Anupama ChopraSeptember 23, 2016
  • Pink

    Three single, working women in New Delhi. In twenty-first century India, that one line constitutes a horror film. Pink is a...

    Anupama ChopraSeptember 16, 2016
  • Baar Baar Dekho

    Baar Baar Dekho is book-ended by highlights. The film ends with Kala Chasma, that insanely infectious Badshah song.  When it began,...

    Anupama ChopraSeptember 9, 2016
  • Akira

    At one point in Akira, the cheerfully corrupt cop ACP Govind Rane tells his junior – poore game ki lanka laga...

    Anupama ChopraSeptember 2, 2016
  • A Flying Jatt

    How do you recognize a desi superhero?  He’s the guy whose costume is stitched by his mom. And at some point,...

    Anupama ChopraAugust 25, 2016
  • UnIndian

    I went into UnIndian with skepticism.  The dodgy history of cricketers turned actors didn’t bode well for Brett Lee – think...

    Anupama ChopraAugust 19, 2016
  • Happy Bhag Jayegi

    Happy Bhag Jayegi is a sweet, slender story stretched to snapping.  The runaway bride saga starts out frothy and fun but...

    Anupama ChopraAugust 19, 2016
  • Rustom

    Rustom is a baffling movie.  The basic plot is taken from the sensational Nanavati case, which took place in Mumbai in...

    Anupama ChopraAugust 13, 2016

All articles/blogs are intended to inform, entertain and amuse. We make no representations or guarantees about the truth, accuracy or quality of any content.

Copyright 2017 © Bigtree Entertainment Pvt. Ltd. All Rights Reserved

Subscribe To Our Newsletter
Subscribe to our email newsletter today to receive updates on the latest news!
Thank You For Subscribing To Us!

Now get regular updates on the latest entertainment news and style trends.

Providing you with the best of Bollywood, Hollywood, style and more.
Get the best in entertainment, while keeping yourself entertained!
We respect your privacy. Your information is safe and will never be shared.
Don't miss out. Subscribe today.
WordPress Popup