7.6/10
3,826
27 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 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:

Revenge was her reply. 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

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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

Shekhar Kapur: truck driver with beard whom Phoolan Devi (Seema Biswas) hits with the gun handle. 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

Remade as Bandit Queen See more »

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User Reviews

Phoolan Devi, Bandit Queen
16 April 2010 | by Benedict_CumberbatchSee all my reviews

"Bandit Queen" is a controversial and groundbreaking Indian film (co-produced by Great Britain's "Channel Four") telling the real-life story of Phoolan Devi (Seema Biswas, excellent), a low-caste woman given to a husband at age 11 who runs away from him, is constantly violated by upper-caste males, until pairing with a handsome outlaw, Vikram Mallah (Nirmal Pandey), who shows her some respect and invites her to join his gang. Devi became a mythical national figure in her own lifetime (she had just been released from an 11-year prison term when the movie came out, and was murdered in 2001), hailed as "The Bandit Queen" or "Queen of the Ravines". Although at first Devi took legal action to ban the movie's exhibition in India (and it was actually banned for some time - after all, this is no Bollywood fantasy), she eventually changed her mind (plus, Channel Four paid her $60,000...).

A lot has been said about the accuracy of everything portrayed on screen ("My life was much harder", Devi would have said after the first time she saw the movie). Just like he would do in 1998's successful "Elizabeth", Shekhar Kapur knows how to turn a larger than life, actual trajectory in a huge spectacle - but still keeping the essence of its core. Truth be told, this is one of those extraordinary sagas that if even half of what's portrayed on screen is real, it's already quite a journey. Kapur might have been a high-caste, city-bred man trying to portray the life of a brave and rebellious low-caste woman fighting for her survival - in a way that no other woman in her time had done, but that doesn't mean he doesn't know or doesn't have the right to try to depict this reality he doesn't directly belong to. How honest Kapur's original intentions were we can't know for sure, but that doesn't undermine his accomplishment here; this is a story that had to be told to a larger international audience. If a movie manages to work both as an adventurous spectacle and a tale of resurgence after national injustice and misfortunes, then it deserves to be seen. 8.5/10.


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