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Pratha (2002)

5.8
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Leela and Deepak are engaged to each other and are in love also. They eventually get married. In order to better his career, Deepak goes to the big city to educate himself. Sad news about ... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Deepak Bandhu ...
Deepak (Deepu)
Ashney Shroff ...
Leela
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Vicky Ahuja ...
Thanedar Daood Singh
Ravindra Bundela
Krishna Chauhan ...
Shaila
Rohitash Gaud ...
S.P. Ashish
Balram Joshi
Purnima Joshi ...
Sua
Vijay Kaushik ...
Bacha Babu
...
Nimi Pandey
Akhil Mishra ...
Principal
Hemant Mishra ...
Choudhary
Deepak Saxena
Sharmishta Shroff ...
Gautami
Jagdish Tiwari
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Storyline

Leela and Deepak are engaged to each other and are in love also. They eventually get married. In order to better his career, Deepak goes to the big city to educate himself. Sad news about accidental deaths in his family, get him back to the village. Upon his return, he is horrified to find that his wife is now the village goddess, Maa Choksha, ordained by the local priest, Nimi Pandey, the Choudhary, and member of India's ruling party, Bacha Babu. Deepak's attempts to meet with Leela are in vain. He does manage to get Leela to run away from the temple's vicinity, and it is then he comes to know the horrifying truth as to how Leela became the reincarnation of a Hindu Goddess. Leela is captured back, and Deepak is unable to meet with her, so he ends up kidnapping Nimi in order to secure the release of Leela. However, this attempt backfires, and shoot to kill orders are issued to apprehend Deepak, who, now on the run from the law, realizes that the entire government machinery is against ... Written by rAjOo (gunwanti@hotmail.com)

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Action | Drama | Thriller

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2002 (India)  »

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The film was previously titled" Rituals". See more »

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User Reviews

 
Pretty exciting, but with flaws
13 October 2004 | by (India :-) ... -na :-(, USA) – See all my reviews

This movie is worth seeing. It comes with a mission, which is that religious superstition needs to be overcome by enlightenment through education. It makes its point on a grotesque exceptional story, rather than using an everyday life example. I had some difficulty understanding that Leela was cast into a an incarnation of a local Goddess rather than a Devadasi, which might be a more common problem also worth exemplifying the same point.

The story would have still been credible overall, was it not for the crazy naivete of its main protagonists: when Leela's sister helps her escape (and pays for it with her life), Deepak spends a romantic night with Leela instead of using the night for a thorough escape. Upon her pleas to save her, he says "don't worry, now I am here nothing will happen", but look at his action: when they are discovered at promptly at daybreak he just runs away! Leaving poor Leela behind with her tormentors! That's how much his protection was worth!

Then as the big showdown approaches they miss 2 more opportunities to escape safely instead of sacrificing themselves in staging a hyper-dramatic climax. In the end, no one was left to teach their fellow citizens the morale of this fallacy they all fell victim to, because a violent escalation was considered more important than their own lives. It is sad that even in a movie that preaches enlightenment through education, in the end violence still has the last word. As if India needed more examples for communal violence.

The cinematography is fine. But there is little refinement in the music or choreography. The absolute highlight certainly was Ashney Shroff who seemed to be born to play Leela: not only is she is a stunning beauty, but she actually looks just like those idols of Hindu Godesses that one can see in paintings or plastic figurines.


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