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Pratighat: A Powerful Film on Women's Rights
Pratighat (The Revenge) is a 1987 Hindi feminist drama film directed by N. Chandra, starring Sujata Mehta in the lead role. It is a remake of the Telugu film Pratighatana (1985), directed by T. Krishna, with Vijayshanti in the lead. The film deals with the politics-criminal nexus and a college lecturer who takes them on, even after she faces public disrobing. She finally takes the law into her own hands to avenge her insult.
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The film was made on a low budget, and with no big stars, but it went on to become a hit, making Rs. 8 crore at the box office. It became part of the hat-trick of hit films by N. Chandra, Ankush (1986), Pratighaat and Tezaab (1988). The film received critical acclaim for its bold and realistic portrayal of women's issues and empowerment.
Laxmi (Sujata Mehta) is a young and idealistic college lecturer who teaches sociology. She is married to Satyaprakash (Arvind Kumar), a lawyer who works for Kali Prasad (Charan Raj), a corrupt politician and gangster. Laxmi is unaware of her husband's involvement in Kali's illegal activities.
One day, Laxmi witnesses Kali and his men raping a girl in broad daylight. She intervenes and saves the girl, but earns the wrath of Kali. He decides to teach Laxmi a lesson by publicly humiliating her. He and his men abduct Laxmi from her college and strip her naked in front of a large crowd. They also kill her father (Subbiraj) who tries to rescue her.
Laxmi is traumatized by the incident and loses her faith in the law and society. She decides to take revenge on Kali and his men by becoming a vigilante. She disguises herself as a masked woman and starts killing Kali's associates one by one. She also exposes Kali's crimes to the media and the public.
Kali becomes furious and tries to find out the identity of the masked woman. He suspects that Laxmi is behind it, but he has no proof. He also tries to kill Satyaprakash, who has turned against him after learning about his wife's ordeal.
The film culminates in a climactic confrontation between Laxmi and Kali, where Laxmi finally kills Kali and avenges her insult.
Cast and Crew
Laxmi S. Joshi
Advocate Satyaprakash Joshi
The film was directed by N. Chandra, who also wrote the screenplay along with T. Krishna and Jalees (dialogue). The story was based on T. Krishna's original Telugu film Pratighatana. The music was composed by Ravindra Jain, who also wrote the lyrics for the songs.
The film was praised by the critics and the audience for its bold and realistic depiction of women's rights and empowerment. The film also highlighted the issue of rape and sexual violence against women, which was a taboo topic in Indian cinema at that time. The film also challenged the stereotypes of women as passive and submissive victims, and showed them as strong and courageous fighters.
The film also received appreciation for its performances, especially by Sujata Mehta, who played the role of Laxmi with conviction and intensity. She won the Filmfare Award for Best Actress (Critics) for her performance. Nana Patekar also impressed the viewers with his cameo role as a former constable who helps Laxmi in her mission.
Pratighat is a landmark film in Indian cinema that dealt with the issue of women's rights and empowerment in a bold and realistic manner. The film also inspired many other films on similar themes, such as Damini (1993), Dushman (1998), NH10 (2015), etc. The film is a must-watch for anyone who appreciates good cinema and social justice.
If you want to watch the film, you can find it on YouTube. However, please respect the intellectual property rights of the creators and do not download or share the film illegally.