Saturday, September 17, 2005

A Nation Without Women

We watched the Hindi movie 'Matrubhoomi' today as part of Film Studies. It was very very disturbing. The movie makes you sit up, shakes you by the neck and commands you to think. It is very crude and that is what you should watch it for.

The movie presents a futuristic concept where there are no women left in a village. The story is set in a village in North India where female babies are killed habitually. Female infanticide is a reality even today where a male baby is what most parents pray for as they think a son is their path to heaven. Anyway, after a point of time, there are no women left. A family of five brothers and their father is at the centre of the story. The sons are desperate to get married but the father is unable to find a girl. Finally, he 'buys' (thats right!) a girl from the neighbouring village for five lakh rupees and five cows and gets all five sons married to her (a referance to the Pandavas and Draupadi?).

A very disturbing scene is one where the eldest son sits after the wedding with a calender in his hand alloting the days of the week to each brother to go and sleep with her! The worst is when the father demands his right to sleep with her as it was him who paid the money!

Thus Kalki, the bride, undergoes marital rape every day. Only the youngest son shows some concern for her and they fall in love. The jealous brothers kill him and a servant boy who helps Kalki to run away. Kalki's punishment for her audacity to try and run away is further rape in the cow shed where she is tied up. Even the uncle and brother of the servant who is killed rape her for revenge!

She subsequently gets pregnant and a fight starts when everyone tries to determine who the father of the child ought to be. The father-in-law and the sons are killed. She gives birth to a girl child and the movie ends with a hope and a smile on her face.

I know what you must be thinking. That such movies are just exaggerations. But female infanticide takes place even now in many parts of rural India. The female to male ratio is decreasing every year. Sure the scenario may be an exaggeration but that is what you need to drive home the point.

Watch it if you can. It is very disturbing. The way her body is used is really bad. But though it is classified as an adult movie, there is not a bit of vulgarity in it.
The director is Manish Jha.


Karthik L G said...

looks like a serious topic handled with a bit of masala [nice reviews u write :) ]

Deepa said...

thanks! you ought to watch the movie.

San Nakji said...

I just can't bring myself to watch movies involving violence against women... I will have to take your word that it is a good film