7.8/10
947
13 user 7 critic

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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4 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 Benjamin Gilani ... Masterji
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Mohan Gokhale 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

Smita Patil had completed her entire work in this movie, but the movie was released after her demise. See more »

Connections

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

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User Reviews

 
Pretty good but has aged badly
28 May 2013 | by ragingbull_2005See all my reviews

The film is set in an India before independence. "Baap Gee" (Nasseruddin Shah) is a tax collector (subedar) of a village. Sonbai (Smita Patil) is a village belle who is married to Raj Babbar. They are a childless couple.Babbar goes to the city for employment.

Shah sees Patil at the village lake and begins to lust for her. There are unseen and horrendous consequences for all the protagonists.

The movie was produced by National Film Development Corporation was it seems they did not give more than a couple of hundred bucks for the same. It looks badly dated at many places.

The side characters get meaty roles and do justice to them. Suresh Oberoi plays the village head Mukhi (short for Mukhia) who is hand in gloves with the subedar. He spends nights with another woman and neglects his wife played superbly by the excellent Deepti Naval.

Benjamin Gilani plays the village teacher who emphasizes on the education for the girl child. There is Paresh Rawal in one of his earliest roles as a village wise ass. He gets a few lines but impresses in his part.

The music is nothing to write home about. The movie is lifted out of its mediocre production values by stellar performance by Om Puri, Smita Patil and Shah. Ketan Mehta, who is both the writer and the director, does a commendable job with the obviously limited amount of funding he must have had at his disposal.

This can be seen by movie buffs who want to see great acting. It has its heart in the right place but sometimes, like in life, it is not enough.


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