Rudaali (1993) is a masterpiece directed by Kalpana Lajmi. The movie is based on Mahasweta Devi’s short story of the same name. The film explores themes of gender, caste, and oppression through the story of Shanichari, a rudaali or professional mourner, in a rural village in Rajasthan.
The film’s characters are intricately woven and reveal the deep-rooted societal and emotional bonds they share with each other. The protagonist, Shanichari (played brilliantly by Dimple Kapadia), is a woman of the lowest caste, who is forced to become a rudaali after the death of her husband. Throughout the movie, she is shown struggling with her identity and societal expectations.
The other main character is Thakur Lakshman Singh (played by Raj Babbar), a wealthy landowner who hires Shanichari to mourn at his dad’s funeral. The two characters, who are from different worlds, form a bond that is both tender and heartbreaking. Bhikni too…
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