Provoked (2007)

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In prison she found freedom

It’s the true story of a Punjabi woman named Kiranjit Ahluwalia who leaves India to marry a London-based guy, only to be badly abused. She ends up in prison for murdering her abusive husband.

Jagmohan Mundhra’s movie ‘Provoked’ is based on a very pertinent subject on which only few movies have been made either in India or in the West. The issue of domestic violence is universal. Yet it is not so frequently talked about in cinema. ‘Provoked’ tells one such true story of a woman who suffered for years at the hands of her abusive husband.

‘Provoked’ is based on the book ‘Circle Of Light’ by Rahila Gupta and Kiranjit Ahluwalia. It is a heart-wrenching true tale of a woman from Punjab who is married to a man in England.

The movie begins quite brilliantly. Kiranjit (Aishwarya Rai), wearing a persecuted, harried look, sets her sleeping husband on fire. A series of questions pile up regarding the reason for this desperate action. The answers come in a series of flashbacks in which Kiranjit’s married life is unraveled.

This is undoubtedly the best performance of the beautiful Aishwarya Rai in her career so far. The direction is also brilliant – with storyline moving at a gripping pace, and an awesome mix of hard and light sequences. Miranda Richardson who plays Kiran’s cell mate is also awesome. Don’t expect a movie that’ll start a revolution, or light a spark.

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