Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Matrubhoomi - A nation without women

Yesterday I watched Manish Jha's 'Matrubhoomi - A nation without women '. I would like to warn everybody that this movie is very Intense and disturbing. I would advise people with a faint heart not to watch the movie. The movie does not have any jhatka-matka or dances set in Switzerland. The movie will shock and stun you with the violence. Now after this warning let me tell you that this is the best and original script that I have come across from Bollywood in recent times. Let me give out the story.
The movie's opening scene shows a lady in childbirth. The husband and the villagers are waiting anxiously outside the house. The lady gives birth to a child and the people waiting outside start celebrating as soon as they hear the new-born baby cry. The midwife bring the child outside and announces - "Its a girl". The father of the child and the villagers are stunned. In the next shot the girl child, still crying, is immersed in a big bowl of milk and killed, ...female infanticide which was (and still is) so rampant in Indian villages.
Mathrubhoomi - A nation without women - The title comes alive. This is Manish Jha's movie on female infanticide.
The movie is set in the future where female infanticide has run so rampant that there are hardly any women left in the country. Directory Manish Jha takes us directly to a village where there is no women in a population of say 5,000 adolescent and unmarried menfolk .There had been no weddings in the village for past Fifteen years.
A group of villages are gathered in front of a stage and cheering and shouting. A man come to the stage dressed colourfully as a woman and starts dancing (to the tune of main aayee hoon UP, bihar lootene) sending the male audience to raptures.
The next scene shows the male audience (both young and old) watching pornographic movie in TV. The audience compalin that they are being shown the same movie for the last three days and thus we can make out there desperation for a female company.
The director gives the clear picture of the village which does not have any women through various scenes like families of men fight over women, parents dress up their young boys as girls to marry them off and claim dowry, men copulate with animals, and women are only used for procreation.
The film centres around powerful family landlord (Sudhir Pandey) and his five sons. The sons are desperate to get married. The village panditji who is also a broker informs the father that there are no women left anymore in any villages nearby. The Panditji is a homosexual as one of the scenes indicate.
The panditji locates a girl named Kalki from the neighbouring village and informs the landlord. The landlord gives rupees 5 lakhs and 5 cows to the greedy father of the girl and gets his five sons marred to the girl (in an awesome marriage scene). After the marriage the sons sits together and discuss who gets her for each day of the week (One of the brothers does not want Friday coz he is on vratha!) and at last the father also claim for one day of the week and also gets to spend the first night with the girl. We then see that the girl is used each night by the sons and father just to satisfy the sexual needs. Only the youngest son respects her, so the girl likes him. The brothers comes to know of this and inturn they kill him. Kalki decides to run away with the help of scheduled caste servant boy but the brothers comes to know about this and kills the servant boy. Kalki is chained along with cattle. The younger people of lower caste decides to take revenge of the servant boy's death by raping kalki. she is also raped continously by father-in-law and her husbands night after night. she becomes pregnant but still people abuse her.
Finally the villagers and the landlords and comes to know that Kalki is pregnant and there begins a friction between the lower castes and the landlords and the caste war breaks out in village. Kalki gives birth in this violent backdrop...to a girl child...movie ends...
The movie is very disturbing but it is a view about how women are treated in many parts of India. Performance wise, everybody has given a natural a excellent show. Tulip Joshi as Kalki is brilliant. The role was really tough but she has done good justice to it. Other actors like Sudhir pandey, Sushant singh, Piyush Mishra and others (I dont know the names) performance is very natural. Cinematography by Venu and background by Salim-Suleiman needs special mention and maintains the tempo of the movie. And finally Directory Manish Jha, simply brilliant. He is one guy to watch out for. Also three cheers to Sridevi for distributing and getting this movie released in India. If interested in a serious matter, watch this movie.

Awards

review on countercurrents.org

review on upperstall.com

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