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Bandit Queen (1994)

Not Rated | | Biography, Crime, Drama | 30 June 1995 (USA)
The movie tells the story of the bandit queen Phoolan Devi who was sent to prison in 1983 and got free in 1994. For 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 »
Reviews
4 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Musical

Film Version of the Most Successful German Language Musical of all time.

Director: Shekhar Kapur
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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 ... 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. For 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 politics and was assassinated in 2001. Written by Volker Boehm

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

One woman dared to fight back See more »

Genres:

Biography | Crime | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | 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

Opening Weekend USA:

$34,728, 2 July 1995

Gross USA:

$399,748

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$399,748
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby | Dolby SR

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Phoolan Devi on whom the film was based fought to ban the film she had also decided to sacrifice her life outside a theater if the film wasn't banned.She decided to withdraw the allegations after a settlement with channel 4. 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

Featured in Chintu Ji (2009) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Great subject, average as a movie
7 September 2001 | by JuguAbrahamSee all my reviews

The film's subject is poignant and very real. It happened. One can debate some artistic liberties taken by director and scriptwriter. The subject is what makes the film tick--nothing else. I saw the film for the first time after the real Phoolan, was gunned down in New Delhi and had served several years as an elected Member of Parliament in India. By the way, she was not the first untouchable elected to Parliament, as some reviewers stated. The so-called "untouchables" have been elected to the Indian Parliament for decades in reserved constituencies.

While Shekhar Kapur as a director is a hero to many India, because he made commercially accepted international films---"Bandit Queen" and "Elizabeth" (and a tolerable kiddie movie called "Mister India", which was accepted by the average Indian audiences)---and even got Oscar nominations for Elizabeth, I do not place him as a top notch film director from India. He fails in every department as a director except perhaps that he succeeds in getting some above-average performances from his actors. Subtlety, finesse, charm are not easy to find in his films--melodrama brims in them.

His idea of using Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan's vocal rendering of the song in the early parts of the film, was perhaps his single major achievement on the undistinguished sound track of "Bandit Queen". And then perhaps the creaking doors during the gang rape sequence. Otherwise the film looked like a spaghetti western with sex and violence minus the great music one associates with them.

If you are looking for a good living Indian film director who makes realistic cinema of international quality--it is not Shekhar Kapur's movies you should see; it is the later works of three Indian film-makers Adoor Gopalakrishnan, Mrinal Sen, and Girish Karnad and of course Muzaffar Ali's "Umrao Jaan". It is unfortunate that none of those directors had the financial support that Kapur had to give them and their films an international viewership. For instance, Sen's "Oka oorie katha" made in Telugu, or Satyajit Ray's "Sadgati" based on Munshi Prem Chand's "Kafan" are more complete as films to an intelligent viewer dealing on the state of the untouchables in India. Sen did not have to resort to graphic sex and violence but merely suggested them. Of course, Sen's nugget did not make headlines, while Kapur's effort hogged them.

To Kapur's credit, he is articulate and used his limited talent and modest resources in the Mumbai film industry to take his products beyond home audiences. For that effort, I salute Kapur. But "Bandit Queen" will remain a great subject awaiting an accomplished director to deal with it.


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