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This is a really well made movie. Sumitra Bhave has always made sensible cinema and this is my favourite film by her. This movie should have won the National Award and would have been my pick to represent India at the Oscars. It is at least a thousand times better than 'Shaaws', which is going to the Oscars, from India, this year.
It is such a pity that the information about this (and all other Indian movies) on IMDb is lacking and sometimes even wrong. Sadashiv Amrapurkar played a very important character in this movie and he is not even credited on these pages. The rest of the cast and crew too are not mentioned at all. Awards and nominations for this movie are not given even when Sonali Kulkarni won the Indian National Award for this movie. There was not even a single vote cast for 'Doghi'.
'Doghi' is not a Hindi movie. It is Marathi, and thankfully escapes the song and dance sequence, does not get tangled up in glitzy glamour and half-witted designer ware. It is a real life, soulful story that is made with a rare understanding and respect.
'Doghi' which can roughly be translated as 'two women' is a story of two sisters, Gauri and Krishna. It is actually a very simple story, Sumitra Bhave does not venture into many sub plots, and that makes it a very difficult film to direct. The entire movie is set in a non-descript remote village in Maharashtra and the screen rarely ventures far from the house of the two female protagonists. No aesthetic sunsets in this one.
The movie opens and we are introduced to the entire house, which is preparing for Gauri's wedding. Gauri and Krishna's father being a hard working farmer, the house is full and happy; there is nothing wanting in their simple lives. However on the eve of the wedding Gauri's to-be-husband meets with a fatal accident. Gauri's father cannot bear the tragic news and suffers a major stroke. Without a strong, working member the house could have fallen apart but Gauri's mother shoulders the responsibility. She works as and when she can, but cannot make ends meet. But her life still, is easier than Gauri's. Superstitions, that people half-heartedly try to forget, make Gauri an evil luck bringer. She is outcast from the society.
Gauri's mother writes to her brother. Desperate for help she accepts his suggestion. He takes Gauri off to Mumbai where she is made to work in brothels. Gauri sends home the money she earns and their conditions improve. Gauri gives her life for that of her family's.
However when Gauri returns home for Krishna's wedding, her mother does not come out to meet her. She does not allow Krishna near her and does not allow Gauri in front of the guests. She loves Gauri but fears for Krishna's life. This breaks Gauri completely and she decides to return to her unfortunate life. But Krishna runs out and holds Gauri. She begs her beloved sister to return. Krishna promises to stand by her. Promises that they would face the world together.
There is nothing that is not required in this movie. Everything is necessary and sufficient. Gauri goes off to Mumbai but what she does there is never told the subtle dialogues tell us what there is to know. It just the bare story, which is profound in its simplicity.
'Doghi' is responsible cinema. It is respectful to the subject it handles. It is respectful towards its audience it does not think them to have the mental capability of a four year old.
The acting is first rate. The direction is marvelous the silences carry the story forward in a way, no words could have. The script is well researched.
Anyone who appreciates good cinema is bound to like 'Doghi'.
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