6.9/10
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3 user 1 critic

Sardari Begum (1996)

The Police are called to investigate the death of a woman during a riot. The woman was killed by a stone thrown by an agitated person. The woman killed is known in the community as "Sardari... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Hemraj
Kiron Kher ...
Smriti Mishra ...
Shri Vallabh Vyas ...
Jabbar Abbasi (as Shrivallabh Vyas)
Syed Khurshid ...
Young Jabbar
Rajit Kapoor ...
Sadiq Moosvi (as Rajit Kapur)
Rajeshwari Sachdev ...
Sakina
Salim Ghouse ...
Manik Sen
Surekha Sikri ...
Idbal Bai (as Surekha Sikri Rege)
S.M. Zaheer ...
Fateh Khan
Uttara Baokar ...
Hemraj's Wife
Ahmed Khan ...
Mehmood Abbasi
Ashok Lath ...
Mark D'Cruz
Kumud Mishra ...
Amode Bajaj
Ravi Jhankal ...
Police Inspector
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Storyline

The Police are called to investigate the death of a woman during a riot. The woman was killed by a stone thrown by an agitated person. The woman killed is known in the community as "Sardari Begum", a popular singer and courtesan in her time. This story chronicles are youth, her contacts, and her life-style. Written by rAjOo (gunwanti@hotmail.com)

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Drama

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Follows Mammo (1994) See more »

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User Reviews

Benegal's 'Enigmatic Women' Trilogy Continues
29 February 2008 | by (Fraggle Rock) – See all my reviews

Benegal's 'Sardari Begum' follows the same line of Benegal's 'Zubeidaa'. Both films are said to be part of a trilogy of which the third film is 'Mammo'. I haven't seen 'Mammo' but while both 'Zubeidaa' and 'Sardari Begum' tell the story of an enigmatic woman who lived her life on her own terms, the latter film is a lot less polished and much more raw. This only adds to the somberness and deglamour of the film making it look much more real. While the glamour works very well in 'Zubeidaa' as it deals with the upper class, the lack of it works for 'Sardari Begum' as it deals with the middle class.

Benegal is already known as a masterful storyteller, especially when it concerns women. Here he certainly does not let his viewer down. the writing is brilliant and the characters are very interestingly defined as we see them from different perspectives. The editing is crisp.

He extracts some fine performances from his actors. This is perhaps the first role that does full justice to Kiron Kher's talent. She's simply phenomenal. In the title role, Smriti Mishra does a very good job. Rajeshwari Sachdev too standouts especially in the final sequences. Newcomer Rajina Raj Bisaria adds a freshness with a sincere performance. Rajit Kapoor, Salim Ghouse and Amrish Puri lend sufficient support.

The songs are very simplistic, created with beautiful lyrics and minimal use of instruments. The cinematography, especially the use of the zoomlens shot from multiple angles is very effective.

Like 'Zubeidaa', 'Sardari Begum' is a beautiful film. It's just a different kind of beautiful. Watch it and you will see what I mean.


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