Provoked - A True Story
Written by Nobuhiro Hosoki
As the proverb says, "In life there is no honor in silent suffering." The film "Provoked" is based on a real event that happened in a London suburb, an incident that redefined the legal definition of "Provocations" as experienced by battered women. An Indian immigrant woman, Kiranjit (Aishwarya Rai), has been sent to London for an arranged marriage to Deepak (Naveen Andrew who plays in the TV drama "Lost"). Soon Kiranjit discoveres Deepak's true nature--that of a hot-tempered alcoholic husband who slaps and beats her silly for no reason.
After a series of domestic violence stretching over a decade, she finally drenches him with gasoline while he was sleeping. The wife beater woke up and ran from the house screaming, and later died of his severe burns. Kiranjit made a guilty plea to a manslaughter charge, and was sentenced to life imprisonment. The case caught the attention of a nonprofit women's rights group, "Southall Black Sister" which aided her in overturning the conviction. Meanwhile, Kiranjit befriends her cellmate Veronica (Miranda Richardson), and slowly adapts into a new found freedom. The quest for getting a new trial becomes more plausible when it is revealed that Veronica's stepbrother happens to be Lord Edward Foster (Robbie Coltrane), a respected Queen' counsel. Luck is smiling on her side.
Director Jag Mundhra's career spans mostly erotic thrillers with straight-to-video quality. This time he tackles a much broader subject. But some aspects of his direction diminish the authenticity of the true events. Throughout, the film consists of redundant flashbacks and an unrelenting soapy dramatic score that is rather off-putting. But our eyes are kept on the screen thanks to the performance by Rai, the green-eyed Bollywood star, who delivers a fragility and a restraint that portrays a determined female. The help of other reliable actors adds flair to the film. In the end, it is the subject matter that wins us over!
Directed by Jag Mundhra
Written by Carl Austin, Rahila Gupta
Based on the book by Rahila Gupta, Kiranjit Ahluwalia
Produced by Sunandra Murali, Manohar
Edited by Jag Mundhra, Sanjeev Mirajkar
Released by Media One Grobal Entertainment LTD.
Cast: Aishwarya Rai(Kiranjit Ahluwalia)
Miranda Richardson(Veronica Scott)
Naveen Andrews(Deepak Ahluwaria)
Robbie Coltrane(Lord Edward Foster)