Last night we saw Provoked, starring Aishwarya Rai and Naveen Andrews (Sayid from Lost) I was not willing to go see this movie because of its nature (domestice abuse– and tend to avoid movies dealing with such issues) but in a peculiar way, I was glad I went to see this one.
Ash plays Kiranjeet Ahluwalia, a Punjabi girl who comes to England having married her husband. Two kids later, all seems hunky dory for Kiran till that fateful night when her husband is burnt in his bed. Kiran is arrested and charged with attempted manslaughter and sent to prison. In prison, like the movie’s tagline says, Kiran found her freedom.
There are a lot of good things going on for this movie.
1. Aishwarya did a very commendable job getting into the character and her transformation from a timid woman to a brave woman with her new found freedom was credible. This is the type of movie Aishwarya can excel in and not Dhoom 2 type movies. Her acting was controlled, under-stated and effective. We feel for her through every step of her way.
2. The supporting cast also excel in their own little ways, expecialy Radha and Ronnie.
3. The simplicity of the film made it all the more effective, as it was not filled with Hollywood cliches with over-powering orchestral music in every scene to highlight whatever emotions there are. The treatment of this movie is very much like Dead Man Walking.
4. My favorite thing in the movie was the ‘parallelism’ that ran throughout to show Kiran’s life in home and prison, for example, when she steps into the prison cell for the first time, we intercut to her flashback of stepping into her new home as a married woman. In another case, when she is being served a meal in prison, we see her kids eating lunch at home. I loved this direction!
I would give this movie a 4 out of 5 only because I think the character of the husband was demonized. We don’t know why he acts the way he acts. He was not human enough to gain any sympathy from us, but then again, this movie is based on a true story on this woman and it’s her side of the story.