Thursday, September 13, 2012

Doghi - Movie Review

'Doghi' is a Marathi movie set in rural Maharashtra and revolves around two sisters who are very close. It starts sometime when the older sister Gauri (Renuka Daftardar) is scheduled to be married and there is great festivity in the household. Relatives coming in and much talk that reveals the household's share of troubles - debts and other troubles of a farmer and so on. The sisters go to visit a temple on the advise of their elders before the groom's party arrives and they go accompanied by their uncle from Bombay (Sadashiv Amupakar). On the way back the uncle notices in the newspaper that the groom's party had an accident and that they had all died while coming to the village.

The incident causes a stroke to the father and he becomes an invalid. People shun the older girl as an ill omen. Money dries up. As things go from bad to worse, the uncle tells the mother that he will take the older girl- the one with the bad luck to Bombay and that he would send her a money order every month. Without as much as showing a thing the director conveys the decision with great effect - the girl would be a prostitute in Bombay. Money starts flowing in and things look up for the family. The younger one Krishna (Sonali Kulkarni) is now in line for marriage and the uncle finds a young idealist working for an NGO for her.

All's well until Gauri decides to join the festivities and the mother feels the pinch of her unfortunate daughter's shadow on the marriage. She tries to discourage her from coming and does not welcome her - despite knowing the tragedy that befell her stoic daughter. Gauri feels left out and walks out as the marriage is about to take place when she is refused the bridesmaid's jobs. Krishna however convinces her to stay, convinces her guilt ridden mother to accept her daughter and also finds her older sister a groom from the group of young social activists. Gauri stays back in the village, never to return to her life as a prostitute in Bombay.

'Doghi' is a simple theme told very powerfully. It addresses so many issues that lie underneath and that are not told or discussed and it does that wonderfully. The only thing that struck me as odd was that the girl had to become a prostitute - could she not have worked as help or something else? But perhaps that is the truth, perhaps it is based on a true story, because truth is certainly stranger than fiction and there is certainly no logic to how truth unfolds. The girls did a wonderful job and so did their mother and all other characters. 'Doghi' is slow and intense and powerful. Watch it if you get a chance.

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