written by Souranath Banerjee
Self-empowerment of rural women – Parched instantly reminded me of Ketan Mehta’s Mirch Masala!
My Ratings: 4/5.
Seldom issue based films (especially in Bollywood) suffer from striking a balance between telling a story that is both entertaining as well as didactic.
And that is exactly where Leena Yadav‘s remarkable film Parched comes out as a winner!
Dealing with four rural female characters in the lead – Rani (Tannishtha Chatterjee), Lajjo (Radhika Apte), Bijli (Surveen Chawla) and Janaki (Lehar Khan) and then of course their struggle in a male-dominating society being the core of the film, Parched has done an incredible job in charming the audience, mostly through it’s unapologetic dialogues (thanks to Supratik Sen) that ranges from being real, straightforward to vulgar!
The film through each of its feminine-character’s remarkable journeys efficiently tackles so many women-oriented social issues like domestic violence, sexual harassment, education, child marriage, dowry, status of the widows, choice of asserting her sexual preferences, fertility prejudices, prostitution, even the importance of rural small-scale businesses and then of course the independence of women on the whole!
Such powerful acting by everyone in the film but electrifying Radhika Apte surely leads the pack.
Tannishtha Chatterjee also plays a very mature part, probably the most difficult one in the film. Even Surveen Chawla as the prostitute/dancer makes her mark. Riddhi Sen as the young egoistic male, and then Adil Hussain and Sumeet Vyas – all did justice to their roles.
Through the lenses of ace cinematographer Russell Carpenter and the appropriate melodious music by Hitesh Sonik, Parched has definitely managed to tell a fascinating story, most importantly something very different and genuine.
But i guess the real success of a film like Parched will be when the women of rural India can get to watch it and enjoy as much as the urban multiplex audience did!
Totally worth your time and money.