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Fascinating and Mesmerising
Jun 11, 2005 10:45 AM 3314 Views
(Updated Jun 11, 2005 10:45 AM)





Anger doesn't win games

- Gary Beban

Egotism is the anesthetic that dulls the pain of stupidity

- Frank Leahy

Anger and Egotism are two things that don’t take person too far in his life. There are people who might be seers, sages, saints, etc but even these people can be irritating, petulant, selfish, angry, or depressed. And these these human natures makes them vulnerable, forces them to take wrong decisions in life, and causes rift & misunderstandings in relationships.

Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s Parineeta based on Sharat Chandra Chattopadhyay’s timeless classic superbly deals these human traits. Parineeta - The Married Woman is a story of three characters who get entangled in a complex relationship evoking love, hate, misunderstandings and deceit in the bargain.


The story is set in Calcutta in the year 1962. Lolita (Vidya Balan) is an orphan who lives with her uncle’s family. She is Shekhar’s (Saif Ali Khan), childhood friend and neighbour. They spend their childhood together and support each other in all situations. Both are possessive about each other. But Shekhar is a petulant, possessive person and is servile to his father. This nature creates problems between Shekhar and Lolita. One day Girish (Sanjay Dutt) arrives from London and accidently meets Lolita at his house. He takes liking to her. Shekhar does not like Lolita taking interest in Girish. Lolita works in Shekhar’s father, Navin Rai, who only thinks about profits above anything. One day Lolita comes to know that Navin Rai is planning to usurp her uncles’s haveli. Lolita asks for monetary help from Shekhar but he is unable to help. But Girish arranges the amount and saves them from this difficulty, which angers Navin Rai and he creates a rift between Shekhar and Lolita. One day Lolita’s uncle has a heart attack and Girish takes Lolita and her uncle’s family to London. Meanwhile, Shekhar is ready to get married to Gayatri (Dia Mirza). What happens next?


The first scene between Saif and Vidya explores the feelings of a married woman when rebuked by Saif. The placement of the scene in the beginning just before the flashback starts makes the audience curious about a married woman’s strange behaviour.

Saif’s myriad nature – petulant, jealous, possessive, moody, father-dominated is brought alive in various scenes like when Shekhar gets angry when Lolita does not attend his recording session, or when Shekhar’s possessiveness comes to fore in scenes where he gets too jealous when Lolita mixes too much with Girish, or when Shekhar is shown servile to his father when he could not help Lolita even when he wants to.

Lolita and Shekhar’s involvement in various tumultuous events makes for a gripping drama.

Vidya’s scene with Saif where she complains about him getting angry on her without any reasons is very emotional.

The scenes capturing Girish’s encounters and rendezvous with Lolita - like the blackout scene, the durga pooja dance ritual, the card game, etc are well directed.

The rivalry between Shekhar and Girish is shown in a very subtle way without resorting to any violent or loud dramatic encounters.

The anti-climax scene where Sanjay Dutt confronts and chides Saif showcases virtues of Lolita, which Saif could not apprehend all his life.


The climax is too loud and melodramatic that doesn’t gel with the gentle mood of the entire movie.

The character of Koel (Raima Sen) should have been properly developed so as to make Girish’s character a little bit more effective in context of the climax.

The train song though well picturised - is wrongly placed, coming just after a dramatic scene featuring Vidya and Saif’s father.


Vidya Balan has made a sensational debut. Her acting prowess is showcased in various scenes where she undergoes a whole gamut of emotions. Whether she puts up with Saif’s petulant behaviour with a smile, whether she gets angry when Saif’s father calls her a whore, whether she manages to maintain her dignity & self-respect in spite of giving her everything in love, Vidya is top class. She has the best debut award in her pocket and a best actress nomination also.

Sanjay Dutt’s sensitive portrayal of Girish deserves kudos.

Saif Ali Khan performs his role with sincerity.

Raima Sen is wasted and Dia Mirza is irritating.

Rekha is mind-blowing in as the item girl

as Saif’s father gives a marvelous performance.


Story: Though the movie is based on Sarat Chandra Chottopadhyaya's book, the characters have been altered a bit. The story is excellent and though it is set in 1962 it is still relevant in today’s times. The story not only gives importance to the characters’ emotions and it’s growth but it also tries to understand the social implications of the proceedings.

Screenplay: Vidhu Vinod Chopra & Pradeep Sarkar’s screenplay compliments the beautiful story. The story doesn’t appear mushy though it’s a love story. They have avoided melodrama as possible as they can.

Direction: Pradeep Sarkar has done justice to the literary classic and has managed to give the story a visual treat but at the same time he has taken care that the opulence does not overshadow the story and the nuances of the characters (as happened with Bhansali’s Devdas). What is more praiseworthy is that Pradeep Sarkar has managed to showcase a balanced portrayal of woman who is strong and not servile and at the same time she behaves like any normal woman with lots of emotions. For e.g Lolita endures Shekhar’s quirky behaviour but when it gets too far she decides to leave without explaination. And Lolita uses Shekhar’s money all her life as token of love but when Shekhar insults her by calling her a mercenary then the same money becomes a loan, a burden for her and she returns back to Shekhar.

Cinematography: Natarajan Subramanian has beautifully captured the streets of Kolkata, the emotional scenes, the cultural proceedings, Darjeeling’s tea-laden hills, etc.

Editing: The editing is brisk and does not allow the film to drag or slow down.

Dialogues: Rekha Nigam’s dialogues are good but fail to create an impact to the well-directed scenes.

Art Direction: Tanushree Sarkar and Pradeep Sarkar have done justice to the period setting – the havelis, Durga pooja celebrations, Calcutta streets, night clubs, etc have a realistic feel to it.

Music: Shantanu Moitra’s compositions though not mass oriented are top class and gel with the theme of the movie and with the mood of the characters. Piyu bole, Soona mann ka aangan and Raat hamari compliment the situations they are sung in.

Lyrics: Swanand Kirkire excels in Raat Hamari toh and Piyu bole.


Parineeta is a great movie and tries to explain the meaning of love and commitment through nature of three characters.

Verdict: Don’t miss this movie.

And don’t miss the comments section either :)


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