Leena Yadav’s Parched is a much talked about film of the season. The Surveen Chawla, Radhika Apte & Tannishtha Chatterjee starrer was premiered at the Special Presentations section of the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival. The critically acclaimed Indian drama has bagged more than 18 awards and has been screened at 24 international Film Festivals. Produced by Ajay Devgan under his banner Ajay Devgn FFilms, Parched  found itself in a controversy after a certain intimate scene between Aadil Hussain and Radhika Apte was leaked on the internet. The actress has boldly supported her nude scene in the film and says that she is not ashamed of her body.

The 31-year-old actress in her quote to Indian Express said, “I don’t see why I should be ashamed of my body. That’s the one tool I use as a performer. I had no apprehensions doing bold scenes. I was also sure that I was really in good hands.” Radhika also reveals that her movie has much more to offer than her nude clip that was leaked.  “I don’t think too much about these things. The film is much more than this scene,” reported Press Trust of India. Parched was cleared by the Indian censor board with an ‘A’ certificate. And if you watch the movie mindfully, you will agree with every word Radhika said.

Plot:

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Ajay Devgn’s Parched is a story of three women Rani (Tannishtha Chatterjee), Lajjo (Radhika Apte) and Bijli (Surveen Chawla), who hail from a small village in the country. The Village which is predominantly male dominated believes in abusing women physically and mentally in all forms. Rani is a widow and her husband died when she was barely 15 years old and has a son, Gulab (played by Riddhi Sen), to look after. She forcefully marries him off to Janki (Lehar Khan) by paying a dowry of 3 lakhs. Her friend Lajjo is ridiculed and abused by her husband for not being able to bear a child. Bijli is a whore and a stage dancer who is battling to make a survival amidst a group of dirty men waiting to have a taste of her body. (ALSO READ: Parched trailer starring Radhika Apte & Surveen Chawla gives closer look at rural feminism)

 Parched is an emotional journey of these women who are trying to live their dream in the middle of the male dominated society battling with issues related to domestic violence, exploitation and money. The twist in the story comes when the three decide to go against the pre-set rules of the village panchyat and set out in their pursuit to live their dreams.

Performances:

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Each and every actor in Parched has given their best in every possible way. Leena Yadav’s decision to cast Surveen Chawla, Radhika Apte & Tannishtha Chatterjee in the lead roles turned out to be right. (ALSO READ: Leaked: Radhika Apte hot nude scene from Parched being sold as porn!)

We have seen Radhika and Tannishtha in such character-driven roles and their performance in Parched comes as no surprise. But it was Surveen who stunned us since what she delivered was quite unexpected. After her bold performance in Hate Story 2, one expected her to be a misfit amid great actors like Radhika and Tannishtha. But she proved her naysayers wrong with a powerful performance.

What we liked in Parched:

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The backdrops of the film and the whole plot has portrayed with so much brilliance. Everything looks so real and life-like. Parched smoothly flows towards the climax and you will be left wanting for more. The movie dwells in you even after you have walked out of the theatres and leaves the footprints of  happy feeling. (ALSO READ: Play an infertile woman in ‘Parched’: Radhika Apte)

The music and songs in the film just help the film take forwards. The background score is just apt for the film’s genre and doesn’t look odd.

What we didn’t like in Parched:

Parched is made to perfection and you will have a hard time finding flaws in the film. The scenes of violence and abuse will haunt you but at the same time they bespeak the truth of the male-dominated society.

Radhika Apte’s forced accent is evident in certain parts of the film, but you can easily overlook that for her powerful performance.

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Verdict:

Parched is an unconventional drama that acquaints you with the horrible situation of women in rural parts of the country. It is not a regular Bollywood film loaded with drama and entertainment so it might attract only limited audiences. Go for Parched, this weekend only if you have a palate for films of this genre.

Rating 4.5 stars