Parched Courtesy MensXP

In 2005 a young lady Director Leena Yadav made an experimental obsessive love story between an author Shaukat Vashisth (Sanjay Dutt), his wife Antara (Aishwarya Rai) and the young college teacher Yash (Zayed Khan), the film Shabd. It did not perform well at the box office and Leena showed her talent in picking up difficult subjects.

Now in 2016 she brought Parched, a story about three women in Rajasthan India struggling with early childhood marriage, being barren and a dancing girl. Leena made an excellent choice of her cast with Tannishtha Chatterjee as Rani, Radhika Apte as Lajjo and Surveen Chawla as Bijli.

This highly acclaimed film at the Toronto Film Festival will not receive much box office earnings in India or much critical praise due to its subject, the backward community that still persists deep in Rajasthan India.

There are two things that are new here, the first being excellent Cinematography by Russell Carpenter, who incidentally won the same award for Titanic. He does not dwell on the personal reactions of the actor, they do not own the screen, they are a part of the story.

Leena has had a similar approach. The three women are well aware of the injustice they are facing but they are not rallying around like activists. This is different and how it all works out or not for them is worth the watch.

Tannishtha Chatterjee is a superb international actress and while Radhika Apte is well known for her Rabindranath Tagore series and other art films, she does not fail to make you feel the pain as the barren woman Lajjo. Surveen has done her best performance here, this Hate Story girl is convincing as their friend Bijli who is a dancing girl.

The ladies rock!