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Vidya lives a middle-class lifestyle in a virtually lawless town called Amarpur, India, along with her widower and disabled dad, Shambhu; married brother, Shiva and his wife, Lata; and her paternal grandma. She studies in the Arts Commerce and Science college in Bombay, and is summoned home to get married to a man of her family's choice, to which she reluctantly agrees. On the day of the marriage, a dancer performs an item which angers Mahadev, who is the Mukhiya of Mandaur, another lawless town, where the groom hails from. Friction breaks out, guns are drawn, people are killed, and Amarpur's Mukhiya, Jawahar Pandit, decides to torch the harvest of Mandaur and flee. An angered Mahadev instructs Shiva to wipe the Sindoor from Vidya's forehead, make her live the life of a widow, and not permit her to re-locate to her husband until he avenges this humiliation. Vidya is thus imprisoned in her home but shortly thereafter manages to convince her dad and Shiva to let her return to Bombay ... Written by
If you can see beyond the violence, you are greatly rewarded.
A film worth seeing despite being very violent and plain insane from beginning to end, but it has something authentic to it. When Nana Patekar is the chieftain of one of two villages in a feud, you know that you're in for a rough time, desperation and pain awaits you (not unlike Shakti - The Power, but without a shrieking Karisma). Will anyone you care for in this movie survive? You won't know until you've seen it all the way to the bitter end. This is not for the faint of heart.
We can't give away too much of the story. Only so much: A bride and a groom who are each from the other of the two villages happen study in the city, but are being married, both against their will and both without knowing each other, not even having seen each other once (because that is not how it is done here.) The wedding night ends in a massacre and from there on the couple is torn in this fight. How they finally get to know each other, and love, and whether they will ever get to live together is all going to be revealed in this film.
It's violent, it's got action, guns and sticks and axes, but at least the violence is related to the plot and not so out of context as in so many other Bollywood flicks that have fighting scenes. And we also get to see a lot of rural Indian life, culture and beauty, and the director manages to let that shine through even all that madness.
What I liked is that all people were portrayed as humans, no one was just a bad daemon. Even Nana Patekar was not just the tyrant that he was in Shakti, but was given a little more soul, even a romantic dance. But don't expect the personalities as in Swades, these are not modern politically-correct individualist free-thinkers, but villagers, who follow their leaders and follow the tradition and take their place at the food-chain. They are all completely consumed by this life and know little of the rest of the world. This picture is delivered quite authentic, and without any commentary. There is not a single sermon, none of the characters, not even the two young protagonists rise above their culture, they are just the way they are for better or for worse.
This is a very remarkable film. Absolutely worth seeing. But not for the faint of heart.
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