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directed by Leena Yadav
India/UK/USA 2015

 

The title PARCHED refers not only to the film's arid desert setting but also to the souls of people who inhabit it, as the central trio of characters come to find their life situations thoroughly unbearable. While not barren and married to a brute (Mahesh Balraj) like her best friend Lajjo (Radhika Apte, THE BRIGHT DAY), thirty-four year old widow Rani (Tannishtha Chatterjee, BRICK LANE) hardly feels like a woman anymore. Having taken out a large loan to pay the dowry for a fourteen-year-old wife for her seventeen-year-old wastrel of a son Gulab (Riddhi Sen, CHILDREN OF WAR) - after having sat by mute alongside the other women of the village when the Elders rejected a girl's pleas for help and sent her back to her husband's abusive family, and an earlier one who committed suicide - Rani loses face and Gulab is humiliated when his bride Janaki (Lehar Khan) shows up with her hair chopped off due to lice. The arrival in town of the dance troupe tent has all of the women watching their husbands closely, but the main dancer/prostitute is Bijli (Surveen Chawla, HATE STORY 2) proves as invigorating for Rani and Lajjo as the presence of Kishan (Sumeet Vyas) whose encouragement of the village women's independence through craft-making, and his and his educated foreigner wife Naobi (Mahesh Balraj) have the village's men - both the Elders and destructive and chauvinistic youths including Gulab - up in arms and getting increasingly violent. When Lajjo proclaims that she wants to have a child not to please her abusive husband but to experience the joy of motherhood, Bijli suggests that her husband might be the infertile one and introduces her to her one fulfilling lover but her husband is not fooled like the other villagers by the miracle of her pregnancy and things get worse. Bijli not only finds herself being replaced in the dancing troupe but discovers that the attendant who has been pining for her and worshiping her actually wants to be her new pimp. When Rani witnesses her son's treatment of his wife and comes to accept that he is out of control and regards her with no more respect than any other woman, one decisive act on their part will allow them to follow their hearts instead of soul-crushing tradition.

Eric Cotenas

Posters

Theatrical Release: 17 June 2016 (USA)

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DVD Review: Wolfe Video - Region 1 - NTSC

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

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Distribution

Wolfe Video

Region 1 - NTSC

Runtime 1:56:44
Video

2.40:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.11 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio Hindi Dolby Digital 5.1; Hindi Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo
Subtitles English (burnt-in)
Features Release Information:
Studio: Wolfe Video

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.40:1

Edition Details:
� 'The Making of Parched' (16:9; 4:48)
� 'The Making of Kachua (the dance)' (16:9; 4:31)
� Interview with editor Kevin Tent (16:9; 3:05)
� Interview with sound designer Paul Ottosson (16:9; 3:58)
� Interview with director of photography Russell Carpenter (16:9; 4:31)
� Theatrical Trailer (16:9; 2:34)
� Previews

DVD Release Date: August 9th, 2016
Amaray

Chapters 9

 

 

 

Comments

Regrettably, Wolfe has decided not to put this one on Blu-ray as this film looks ravishing on high-bitrate dual-layer, progressive, anamorphic widescreen DVD. The Dolby Digital 5.1 track (and 2.0 stereo downmix) renders the film's very considered sound design effectively. The English subtitles are burnt-in and only occasionally require pausing for readability against bright backgrounds (all names are italicized). Extras consist of short making-of pieces on the film and the dance choreography as well as interviews with editor Kevin Tent (SIDEWAYS), sound designer Paul Ottosson (ZERO DARK THIRTY), and cinematographer Russell Carpenter (TITANIC) who all remark on the novelty of shooting in India. The disc also includes the film's trailer and previews for other Wolfe titles.

  - Eric Cotenas

 


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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

 

 

Distribution

Wolfe Video

Region 1 - NTSC

 



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