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Audience Review

Release Date

06 Jan 2006

Devaki Story

Devaki (Suman Ranganathan) is forced into marriage to a 70-year-old man. On the night of the marriage, she is raped by the brother of the impotent old man in order to establish the age-old practice of physical dominance of the male over the female. In protest to the feudal practices, Nandini (Perizaad Zorabian), the urban girl, who has come to the village to work as the NGO activist, quits her job and comes back to the city.Soon, Nandini finds out that the urban life is no different. Economically betrayed and physically used by her lover Rahul (Ram Kapur), Nandini joins an advertising agency. But she is shocked to find out that her selfish father (George Baker), who had deserted the family many years ago, owns the agency. The father comes up with the proposal for Nandini to sleep with one of the clients in order to procure a business deal.Meanwhile, Devaki develops a relation with a low caste runaway boy. But the villagers catch them in the act of love-making.

They are produced before the Panchayat. Devaki is made to stand holding a heavy stone on her head. The villagers and the Panchayat decide to auction Devaki to the highest bidder and pay the money to the 70-year-old husband. Once again, another old man buys her. Meanwhile, Nandini decides to sell herself to the old client, as a revenge on her father. The severity of the punishment is also aimed at setting an example to all women and teach them their rightful place.Devaki takes a look at the lives of two women, belonging to strikingly different backgrounds. The problem with the film is that it turns too dark after a point.Nandini’s life is more complicated. She starts off as an activist working for an NGO, trying to empower the village women through literacy and awareness. Seeing the atrocities women have to endure, and disillusioned with the ineffectual NGO movement that only pays lip-service to emancipation of the oppressed, she returns to the city finds a job in an advertising agency. But she soon that urban life is not that different for women.

Helplessly caught up in an affair with a married man, Rahul, she feels herself losing self-respect. also feels betrayed and disillusioned by Rahul’s treatment of his pregnant wife, Sumana, and the lies he has telling both women. She forces herself to end this illicit relationship, even though it leaves her emotionally bereft. She does find some satisfaction in her work, here co-incidentally, her own father, who had deserted the family 15 years ago, is her boss. He doesn’t seem to remember the fact that he left behind a wife who is now in a mental asylum, still awaiting his return, and a daughter who he doesn’t recognize though she works for him. The ultimate betrayal comes when her father/boss advises her to satisfy his client sexually to clinch a deal and offers her 2% of the profit as a reward. She decides to sell herself to this lecherous old man, avenging her father’s betrayal by sacrificing herself. Her vindication comes in the form of his shock when she eventually tells him the truth!

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