On her way home the newly wed Romita is molested by five men. The only one who has the courage to help is the young female teacher Jhinuk. Because of that she becomes a heroine and is on ... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Shakuntala Barua ...
Jhinuk's mother
Chandni ...
Prostitute
Abhishek Chatterjee ...
Palash
Subhendu Chatterjee ...
Jhinuk's father
Sanjib Dasgupta ...
Tunir
Gopa Ghosh
Indrani Haldar ...
Jhinuk
Haramjadi ...
Prostitute
Nirmal Kumar ...
Government lawyer
Suchitra Mitra ...
Jhinuk's grandmother
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Storyline

On her way home the newly wed Romita is molested by five men. The only one who has the courage to help is the young female teacher Jhinuk. Because of that she becomes a heroine and is on all papers' front page. But the page is turning: As not only the police but also neighbours begin to ask embarrassing questions the two women are eventually intimidated and the five man are getting free with the help of corruption and male domination. Written by Marco Radke <radke@krypta.aball.de>

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Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence, and for language | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

17 February 1998 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Crossfire  »

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User Reviews

 
A gem of a movie
7 March 2011 | by (Seattle) – See all my reviews

Dahan is an intense study of the choices we make in trying circumstances. It unfolds a myriad of issues, emotions, perspectives through which different people view and react to a single incident --- a molestation of a woman at the metro station. There are a lot of people directly or indirectly associated with this: the molested woman (Rituparna), her husband, their families; the woman who saves her (Indrani), her boyfriend, her colleagues, her family; the molester, his girlfriend, their families. They all have something to say, and they often come from very different viewpoints. The movie takes us through all these peripheral views, and shows how they all are important, and have something new and often, unexpected to offer.

An exquisitely powerful script and a sensitive narration makes for an impactful watch. Shown primarily through the eyes of two key women: Rituparna and Indrani, the movie touches on an amazing number of themes – the practicality-idealism dichotomy; social pressures and stigma; our ability to accept the worst in others; our ability to accept the circumstances; compromises and its limits; vested interests of the powerful; jealousy; economic disparity in marriage; the gullibility of people; the healing power of time… In spite of offering so much, it does not become a diffused amalgam, rather, brings out a completeness of sorts within a coherent core. I have not come across any other movie that offers this detailed examination of a single chain of events.

A few women steal the show. Indrani, in her role as the fiercely powerful, strong-willed and righteous school teacher, gets us in awe of the character. Equally adept is Rituparna in her portrayal of the confused, agreeable, and stuck-between-two-worlds wife. Mamata in her small role as Rituparna's sister-in-law casts a spell of warmth and affection as a house-wife who has reconciled with pain. But, to me, the stand out character in the movie is that of Indrani's grandmother, Suchitra Mitra. Her strong character is brought out by her tough stances on almost everything. She offers interesting insights throughout the movie, for example, she says 'how can the autowallah who returned my money be celebrated simply because he decided not to do the wrong thing'… Towards the end we also get to see a more human side of her when she talks of her past. The male characters, on the other hand, are all passable. The central character, Abhishek, Rituparna's husband, is average at best.

Rituparno Ghosh's movie making has always connected with me. This is one of his early movies and we can see the genius in the making, but still, the movie and narration is not as refined and polished as some of his later work. The husband's reaction accusing wife of potential adultery, the courtroom scenes are good by commercial standards, but needed more subtlety for this extremely realistic genre. In spite of these, the gripping screenplay gets us hooked and alongside, questions our own moral, social, idealistic and practical takes on the circumstances.

Dahan would stay with me for some time. A must watch for any lover of good cinema.


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