7.6/10
3,816
26 user 44 critic

Bandit Queen (1994)

The movie tells the story of the bandit queen Phoolan Devi who was sent to prison in 1983 and got free in 1994. During five years she was prosecuted by the Indian police and turned into a ... See full summary »

Director:

Shekhar Kapur

Writers:

Ranjit Kapoor (dialogue), Mala Sen (book) | 1 more credit »
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3 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Seema Biswas ... Phoolan Devi
Nirmal Pandey ... Vikram Mallah (as Nirmal Panday)
Rajesh Vivek ... Mustaquim
Raghuvir Yadav ... Madho
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Anirudh Agarwal ... Babu Gujjar
Aseem Bajaj ... Poolan / Man Singh Gang
Manoj Bajpayee ... Man Singh (as Manoj Bajpai)
Pallavi Bharti Pallavi Bharti ... Little Girl
Kamia Bhatt Kamia Bhatt ... Rukhmani, Age 11
Puran Bhatt ... Poolan / Man Singh Gang
Sunita Bhatt Sunita Bhatt ... Little Phoolan
Ashok Bulani Ashok Bulani ... D.S.P
Mahesh Chandra Mahesh Chandra ... Chief Minister
Deepak Chibber Deepak Chibber ... S.P. Bhind
Ranjit Chowdhry Ranjit Chowdhry ... Shiv Narain (as Ranjit Chaudhry)
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Storyline

The movie tells the story of the bandit queen Phoolan Devi who was sent to prison in 1983 and got free in 1994. During five years she was prosecuted by the Indian police and turned into a legend (like a modern Robin Hood) by the Indian press. Although the press tended to make her the optimal hero with blue eyes, dark hair, being tall and beautiful she was in reality an average Indian which makes it hard for the movie to fulfill the expectations of the audience and tell the truth at the same time. Later in her life,She entered into the politics and was assassinated in 2001. Written by Volker Boehm

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

She was the most feared outlaw in India. If the story wasn't true you wouldn't believe it... See more »

Genres:

Biography | Crime | Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | India

Language:

Hindi | Assamese

Release Date:

30 June 1995 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Rainha dos Bandidos See more »

Filming Locations:

India

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$399,748
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby | Dolby SR

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was banned by the Indian authorities due to its graphic scenes of sex and violence. It also incurred the wrath of its own subject, Phoolan Devi, who objected to the fact that she hadn't been invited to see the film. Devi claimed it was riddled with inaccuracies. See more »

Quotes

Puttilal: [Tied to a pole and beaten with rifle-butt] Forgive me.
Phoolan Devi: Forgive you?
Phoolan Devi: Write this to the police.
Vikram Mallah: What?
Phoolan Devi: Any man that marries a little girl... I'll kill him.
See more »

Connections

References Mera Karam Mera Dharam (1987) See more »

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User Reviews

violent, powerful and repugnant
24 May 1999 | by Michael PoweSee all my reviews

This is a remarkable movie. "The Bandit Queen" is a powerful and repugnant portrayal of a modern real-life Indian outlaw, Phoolan Devi ("Goddess of Flowers"). The movie opens at the point at which the 11 year-old Phoolan is sold as a bride to a middle-aged man. The marital rape and abuse that follows drives her away and eventually, as an outcast, into a life of brigandage.

What I found most striking in this movie is that it does not portray the heroine merely as a "wronged woman" but as a woman with deep psychological problems -- to me she frequently appeared to be downright psychotic. There are several scenes of unbridled, I might say X-rated, violence in which Phoolan is seen to gradually wind up from anger to viciousness. In one of these scenes she beats her former husband with a rifle butt. It was -- and I think it was meant to be -- sickening.

"The Bandit Queen" was very controversial in India. It was widely thought to be Oscar material, though apparently did not make the list due to political infighting within the Indian movie-making community. It's well worth the viewing. But I only recommend it for people with strong stomachs. It's a true story (the real-life Phoolan Devi went on to marry above her caste and became the first Untouchable to serve in the Indian Parliament) but it's a story without a happy ending.


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