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Aishwarya Rai Bachchan,
In late 19th Century, Bengal Bhubaneswar Chowdhury (Jackie Shroff) is a wealthy and tyrannical Zamidar (Squire). He has two main obsessions: his desperate attempts for an heir, which even his new second wife Jashomati seems unable to deliver; and competing with his regional rivals to produce the most magnificent effigy of a goddess for the annual Durga Puja ceremony. This year he concocts a master plan - why not change the face of the goddess for the most powerful woman on Earth - Queen Victoria. Meantime his two wives Mahomaya and Jashomati try to look out for one another especially as Bhubeneshwar begins to sexually assault his younger wife each night. Traumatised and lonely, Jashomati is dangerously drawn towards the youthful sculptor who has been employed to create the great effigy of Durga, Goddess of destruction. Written by
Cary Rajinder Sawhney
Have you brought the sample of your work?
Yes, he has got them, sir...
Show what have you brought?
Vrij Bhushan, a Bihari sculptor:
Yes, Sir... I have got a Jhinga.
What have you brought a vegetable?
O... this a lobster... why do call it a Jhinga...
where did you bring him from, Taracharan?
Well, sir... I think they call it Jhinga in Hindi... Is it.
What a strange language!
They mix up vegetarian dish with non vegetarian dish!
[...] See more »
Ghosh's 'Antarmahal' takes us to the inner chambers of a Zameendar's mansion, that is filled with dark and bizarre sexual secrets. Most of the stunning screenplay takes place in the house. Through colourful images and words we are hinted with hidden messages left for us to discover. The background score is haunting. The subtle portrayal of the events (especially the rituals) is disturbing indeed. The film does have its light moments which are conveyed through dark humour. The women are mere sex objects and their use is to produce an heir. Due to the fact that the zameendar is unable to conceive with his first wife, he brings a second wife (and has a mistress) but remains unable to conceive with either women. Then, taking the advice of priests the zameendar engages in bizarre sexual rituals with his women. In term of performances, Roopali Ganguli (the first wife) steals the show. Roopali brings the first wife's mischievous pranks and her wisdom with a certain class and frivolity while Soha does it by bringing out the naivety and innocence of the second wife. However, the dubbed voice hinders her performance. Jackie Shroff is adequately frightening as the evil Zameendar. Yet he also brings a human quality in the scenes where he questions his actions. Abhishek Bachchan is hardly impressive. 'Antarmahal' is indeed a very disturbing film and it demands that the viewer be able to absorb the subject but it is worth watching.
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