By Ekta Srivastava
The film ‘Bandit queen’ Runs through the Life of a Dalit Woman (we remember as Phoolan Devi), the film dares to talk about the discrimination faced by them at every level of the structure that founds our Nation, we call India. And it is in Phoolan’s Character that not only the Dalits of the Indian society, but every one who has ever been oppressed, discriminated, victimized and vandalized find a connection. The Film dares to bring these issues to the forefront.
Even though there are criticisms about the ways in which the film Projects women, to gather attention, but to a society that judges books by their cover, Shekhar kapoor does no harm by smartly playing around a little to commit viewership to the film. The message is conveyed. And we all ponder.
The way in which the story travels through the poverty driven Childhood of Phoolan where she tries to steal an anklet that she adores from her own house to how she grows up amidst sexual violence through a series of events from early marriage to her being traded for Rajputs at the hands of the dacoits. There are silver linings in her life and she makes the most of those; Vikram Mallah, Man Singh and his own Uncle, who stand by her when she really needs them. But fate deceives her time and again and her anger is fuelled by the murders of her loved ones. In the end she goes on to win hearts of the deprived as she surrenders and she does not ask anything for herself, but for her people.
The story of Bandit queen is not about the story of defeat, or despair. It’s the story of Victory. Why Phoolan wins is still unanswered and the answers wander between her credibility due to the Mass Dalit Support she gathered and made those in Power helpless against the majority, and another credibility of hers to actually Champion the rights of the underprivileged.
This film does not answer that. It simply tells a true story. Even though there is too much to see, understand, in the film, it