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Mirch Masala (1987)

Not Rated | | Drama, Thriller | 6 September 1989 (USA)
In colonial India, subedars (tax collectors) went from village to village with soldiers, often demanding more than taxes. A subedar commands Sonbai, a beautiful and confident woman whose ... See full summary »

Director:

Ketan Mehta
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7 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Smita Patil ... Sonbai
Naseeruddin Shah ... Subedar
Om Puri ... Chowkidar Abu Miya
Ratna Pathak Shah ... Pepper Factory Worker (as Ratna Pathak)
Supriya Pathak ... Pepper factory worker
Suresh Oberoi ... Mukhiya
Nina Kulkarni ... Pepper factory worker
Ram Gopal Bajaj ... Owner of the Pepper factory
Benjamin Gilani ... Masterji
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Mohan Gokhale ... Villager
Deepti Naval ... Saraswati, Mukhiya's wife
Harish Patel ... Pandit
Dina Pathak ... Maanki, factory worker
Paresh Rawal ... Villager
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Storyline

In colonial India, subedars (tax collectors) went from village to village with soldiers, often demanding more than taxes. A subedar commands Sonbai, a beautiful and confident woman whose husband is away in the city, to sleep with him. She slaps him and flees for safety to a spice factory where women grind chillies into fine powder. The aged factory guard, Abu Mian, locks the door behind her, refusing to open it to the soldiers, to the cowardly village men led by the mayor, and to the subedar himself. The town's teacher, who follows Gandhi, and a few women, led by the mayor's wife, protest ineffectually against this village-approved rape. The stage is set for a final confrontation. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK | India

Language:

Hindi

Release Date:

6 September 1989 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Spices See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Mirch Masala is the only movie which features the mother-daughter trio, Dina Pathak, Supriya Pathak and Ratna Pathak. The film also features Naseeruddin Shah and Raj Babbar (in a guest appearance), husbands of Ratna Pathak and Smita Patil respectively. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Homestarrunner.com: Everything Else, Volume 3 (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

A very engaging story that successfully portrays the psyche of an oppressed people
16 January 2000 | by iamrickySee all my reviews

I had seen this movie as a kid, but all I remembered was the climax scene, because it was so powerful. I saw it recently and enjoyed every moment of it.

The story is set in colonial India, when the British have disarmed the people, and continue to oppress villagers, through tax collectors called "subedars". These subedars in turn lust for more than the tax.

The movie is about one such subedar, who while on his routine tax-collecting tour to a small village, gets attracted to one of the women. The woman, Sonbai, is married, but her husband has just left for the city in search of a better job. Sonbai(played excellently by Smita Patil) refuses to give in, and while escaping the subedars men, takes shelter in a spices factory.

The gate-keeper refuses to allow the subedars men in, and is determined to protect the honour of Sonbai. Here the cowardice of the fellow villagers surfaces, who decide that it is better to give in to the demands of the subedar, than to face his wrath. The movie successfully conveys the cowardice of oppressed men who cannot even think of rebellion, and even beat up their wives when they protest against their decision.

A brilliant film.


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