Mrityu Dand
Death Sentence

Producer & Director: Prakash Jha
*ing : Shabana Azmi, Madhuri Dixit, Shilpa Shirodkar, Om Puri, Mohan Joshi, and Ayub Khan
Music : Anand Milind


Reviewed by: Radhika Kumar
radhika@indolink.com


Rating :  (out of ) 


Women rule!!! That is what I felt while watching Madhuri Dixit, Shilpa Shirodkar, and Shabana Azmi in MRITYUDAND. MRITYUDAND is a movie that should win awards. A different (but brilliant) plot and excellent acting from all the players has made this movie what it is. MRITYUDAND is a Bihari story of three village women revolting against thier husbands and ultimately rushing to thier doom. The three women are played by Madhuri, Shilpa, and Shabana. Madhuri plays a girl who has just gotten married to a well to do business man (AYUB KHAN) and has been absorbed into all his families problems. Madhuri watches her hired help's (SHILPA SHIRODKAR) husband forced to leave the village to pay off a debt, forcing Shilpa into prostitution and other such dealings to help her husband. Madhuri views her husband's sister in law (SHABANA AZMI) crumble pitifully when her husband made the decision to leave her to become a pandit. She also watches as her own kind husband becomes an abusive drunk because of a bad buisnes deal. Finally, deciding to do something about the bad treatment of the female gender, she teaches the women to fight back. Madhuri starts fighting her husband while he man handles her. Shilpa revolts against an antagonist and his gambling partner when she calls them both pimps and shows them what women are capable of (a great scene in the movie). Shabana fights back in a less violent way by falling in love and having sex with the family's kind hired help (OM PURI) while still being married to her pandit husband. With her lover does she find solace and heaven. Madhuri's husband is killed by his buisness partners right after he apologizes to her, eaving a pregnant Maduri to grieve. She decides to take revenge on all the men in the village who have wronged her or any of her family. Meanwhile, Shabana is caught by her husband when she gets pregnant. A mass execution in the village is planned for Shabana and her love. What will happen?? Will Madhuri get revenge?? Will she save Shabana from dying?? Watch Mrityudand.

Acting is four star caliber on the part of the three heroines. Maduri Dixit has proved that she has acting skills as well as dance talent. Shilpa Shirodkar really surprises with her bold and polished acting talent. She is truly a brilliant actress. Shabana Azmi and Om puri have done a marvelous job playing the doomed lovers. Ayub Khan is good in her small role, though not as good as the other performers. After the horrible SALMA PE DIL AAGAYA, he has made a nice recovery. Music is brilliant by the recovering Anand Milind. Lyrics are excellent by Javed Akhtar. Prakash Jha's screenplay and directing is excellent. Nothing is shabby about this film. It should win awards.

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