|Produced By||Prakash Jha|
|Directed By||Prakash Jha|
|Music By||Raghunath Seth|
|Basant Joslekar||Surekha Sikri|
|Anang Desai||Nandita Das|
Ganesh (Basanat Josalkar) is a potter who supports his wife (Surekha Sikri) and a young son. The couple is picked by a business man to run an inn for travelers in the desert. The couple works diligently and in due course establish a good name for themselves. One day a businessman and his sick wife arrive at their inn. The potter and his wife serve them well and the wealthy businessman offers to train their son in the ways of business, so he could secure a better future for himself and the family. Waiting for their son to arrive, the couple gradually turn greedy and take to to murdering and robbing their guests. Years later, they fail to recognized their own son when he checks in.
To begin with do not confuse ‘Parinati’ with Vidya Baalan starrer ‘Parineeti’. This is one of Prakash Jha’s early works and a low budget offbeat drama. This movie won a Silver Lotus National Award for best costume design and was presented as an outstanding film at the London Film Festival in 1989.
‘Parinati’ is based on a story "Amit Lalsa" ("Anaadi Anat") by Vijaydan Detha who is a noted writer from Rajasthan and a recipient of Padma Shri and Sahitya Akaadami award. He was nominated for a Nobel prize for literature in 2011. Incidentally this is not his only story to be made into a movie. Mani Kaul made a movie titled ‘Duvidha’ in 1973 based upon another story of his and this movie was made again into Shah Rukh and Rani Mukherji starred ‘Paheli’.
‘Parinati’ is an adaptation of a short story and it should have been a little shorter in duration and crisper in its treatment but perhaps during the days it was released, one and half hour movies wouldn’t have even found a taker on television let alone cinema halls. Surekha Sikri and Basant Joslekar are known faces on television and adept in their trade. Anang Desai has also played numerous roles on television and was made popular by his role as King Krishnadeva Rai in television series ‘Tenali Ram’. However, the surprise package of the movie is Nandita Das who shot to fame from Meera Nair’s Fire and then later played lead with Earth – 1947. It actually took me a while to recognize her in this two minute role of hers but then traces of her brilliance are visible even in this ‘blink and miss’ role.
The flow of the movie is seamless and it keeps you engrossed even if not on the edge of your seats. One thing that I particularly like about parallel offbeat cinema is the realism and the ease with one can relate to the visuals. The backdrop for Parinati is the desert in Rajasthan and the portrayal of a potter’s life for the little period drama is very realistic – be it the little turn on the potter’s wheel or Surekha Sikri’s piling up firewood to quote a few. The rustic look and feel of the movie might appear slow and monotonous as compared to the modern day cinema but then movies from this genre have their own following and viewership.
The music isn’t worth writing about but the able performances make up for most of slack in the pace. Overall, a 3 out of 5 movie. It is available on YouTube (as of now). Watch it for a classic short story and the moral therein.