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The Web of the Witch (2002)
"Makdee" (original title)

7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 845 users  
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In a small North Indian village, Legend has it that a 100 years-old witch lives in an abandoned mansion on the village outskirts, and any person who goes inside is turned into an animal. In... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Makdee
Shweta Prasad ...
Chunni / Munni
Makrand Deshpande ...
Kallu
Aalaap Majgavkar ...
Mughal-e-Azam
Mohini Mathur ...
Dadi
Farooq Sarkari ...
Pandit
Suhaas Joshi ...
Mukhiya (as Suhas Joshi)
Amitabh Ghosh ...
Dhobi
Pappu ...
Thief boy
Suruchi Kaloti ...
Shweta's double
Sharmishta ...
Mother
Desh Deepak ...
Collector
Shailendra ...
Mithaiwala
Vipin Bhai ...
Matkewala
Satyajit Mahanti ...
Patangwala (as S. Mahanti)
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Storyline

In a small North Indian village, Legend has it that a 100 years-old witch lives in an abandoned mansion on the village outskirts, and any person who goes inside is turned into an animal. In the same village a clever, naughty girl named Chunni (Shweta Prasad) lives with her widowed father, grandmother and her identical twin Munni, who is just the exact opposite of Chunni in mannerisms. But one day, Chunni's prank causes Munni enters the witch's mansion and the witch turns her into a hen. Chunni strikes a deal with Makdee (Shabana Azmi) that she will present Makdee with 100 hens in exchange for Munni in human form. How she manages this task forms the crux of the rest of this fun-filled children's movie. Written by Soumitra

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Fantasy

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22 November 2002 (India)  »

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The Web of the Witch  »

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User Reviews

A treat for children (and adults)
14 February 2008 | by (Fraggle Rock) – See all my reviews

One of the better family films, especially for children, is what 'Makdee' is. Bharadwaj's commendable directorial debut, where he also composed the score and wrote the screenplay is a tremendous achievement. He tells the story with a simplicity and sincerity that would appeal to children. His inspiration from Grimm's tales is clear (one that particularly comes to mind is 'Hansel and Gretel') but he wonderfully makes 'Makdee' his own work. The playful cinematography adds to the larger than life quality of the story. The viewer is glued to the screen straight from the opening scene. The songs are cheerful, tense and add to the narrative (thanks to Gulzar's fine lyrics), especially the song that reflects Munni's fear of the spider-witch and her memory of her mother.

While some may find that the performances are over-the-top, it's very appropriate for a children's film because they love loud characters. But, this is not to say that adults won't enjoy it. Shweta Prasad fits the role, especially as Munni. Certainly one of the better young actresses and her following films e.g. 'Iqbal' only prove that she's getting better. Alaap Mazgaonkar lends adequate and hilarious support. Makrand Deshpande is suitably loud and hyper. And, a barely recognizable Shabana Azmi is terrific. Not only does she look completely different, she acts that way and stands among one of the memorable villains. However, on the downside, the extras look uninvolved.

Even though I felt the supernatural element fades away towards the end, the film does deliver a message. 'Makdee' is one of the finest children's films to emerge from Indian cinema. If only parents took there children to watch this instead of trash like 'Krrish' or rip-offs like 'Chain Kulii Ki Main Kulii', one could have expected more such sensible children's film from the creative filmmakers of the country. Hats off to Bharadwaj (more so for making a risky attempt) and his cast and crew.


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