Changes between Initial Version and Version 1 of Bandit Queen

Jul 2, 2012, 6:22:29 PM (8 years ago)



  • Bandit Queen

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     1'''Bandit Queen''''''' 
     41994 119’ col Hindi 
     5d Shekar Kapur p Ka-lei-doscope (India), 
     6Channel Four Films (London) sc Mala Sen from 
     7her biography of Phoolan Devi dial Ranjit 
     8Kapoor c Ashok Mehta, Giles Nuttgens 
     9m Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, M. Arshad 
     10lp Seema Biswas, Nirmal Pandey, Manoj Bajpai, 
     11Rajesh Vivek, Govind Namdeo, Saurabh 
     12Shukla, Raghuvir Yadav, Sunita Bhatt 
     15The harrowing although in the end heroic story 
     16of Phoolan Devi, previously filmed in the form 
     17of a Hindi musical (Phoolan Devi, 1984), is 
     18represented by Kapur in an intensely emotional 
     19movie drawing on a wide variety of generic 
     20elements ranging from socialist realist 
     21posturing via action movies to lyrical and, at 
     22crucial moments, impressively reserved and 
     23elliptical scenes more commonly associated 
     24with the art cinema. The story starts with the 
     25young village girl (Bhatt), still a child, being 
     26sold by her impoverished parents as a bride. 
     27The ensuing rape of the child on her ‘wedding 
     28day’, conveyed by an agonised scream, sets the 
     29tone for much of what follows. The heroine 
     30(Biswas) grows up under a regime of caste 
     31banditry and terrorism, exercised mainly by the 
     32local thakurs, backed up by police terrorism, 
     33both involving the most brutish forms of sexual 
     34terrorism as one gang rape (by the police who 
     35arrested her for running away from a childmolesting 
     36husband) is followed by another 
     37perpetrated by the thakurs which lasts for three 
     38days and is conveyed by way of a relentlessly 
     39opening barn door as the upper-caste villains 
     40file in, including a symbolic rape by an entire 
     41village community who force her to strip naked 
     42in the village square. However, instead of 
     43allowing her cold fury to destroy herself, the 
     44heroine teams up with an outlaw gang and 
     45wreaks bloody revenge on her persecutors. 
     46Chased by the police, she evades capture long 
     47enough for the news of her exploits and ordeal 
     48to spark a nationwide interest in her fate, 
     49making it difficult for the local representatives 
     50of power simply to kill her off. Political 
     51expediency requires the government to 
     52negotiate with her and she eventually 
     53surrenders at a public ceremony to which 
     54masses of people flocked from far and wide. 
     55She is applauded by the assembled people, 
     56suggesting her rebellion found a deep echo in 
     57a population exploited and terrorised by the 
     58politically powerful thakur caste in that region. 
     59Predictably, the film became controversial, a 
     60phenomenon acquiring additional complexity 
     61when Phoolan Devi, released, remarried and 
     62harbouring political ambitions but still liable to 
     63prosecution for murder should the authorities 
     64decide to press the matter, repudiated the film. 
     65The newcomer Seema Biswas gives a 
     66performance of great intensity and conviction 
     67in the lead role.