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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!
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Some amazing acting portrayed by all of the leads, especially from the older and younger wives. An intricate story set within the confines of one residence but you do not feel claustrophobic at all due to the clever cinematography and engaging storyline.
A rich landowner in 19th century Bengal has married for the 2nd time after his 1st wife hasn't been able to give him a child (more specifically a son) after 12 years of marriage. His 2nd wife is unable to produce a child either. Not even thinking that he might be the one lacking in fertility he tries taking advice from priests on how to get an heir. Also, he's trying to get a title from the viceroy so his plan is to replace the goddess Durga's face with Queen Victoria so he's bought in a young virile sculptor to do this task.
I found a lot of black humour in this film, I'm not sure, though, that it was intentional. I wasn't sure what to expect at the start of the film as I haven't watched a Bengali film for maybe 20 years. This pretty much changed my views of Bengali film-making but the ending of the film left me feeling angry and depressed and also somewhat happy if that's possible!
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