This post is definitely not a review of the movie-“Matrubhoomi” as the movie was released quite a few years ago. And also I am not sure what rating to give if I were to review it. If you have heard about this movie and not seen it, then I urge you to go and watch it today. And for people who have not heard about it (to my amazement quite a few of my friends had not heard about the movie), read on and make sure you watch it too. I had heard that this is a must-watch movie but unfortunately I was not able to view it earlier. But during my last trip to the CD shop I picked up this movie and gave it to one of my friend to watch it first. The next day, he came back hurling insults at me and cursing me for making him watch this movie. He spoke of the despair, the utter hopelessness and the most disturbing scenes in the movie. He said he was not able to sleep after watching this movie. This piqued my interest and I watched the movie soon after.
The movie began in a village where a father is jubilant on the news of his new born. But when he hears that it’s a girl, the jubilation quickly turns into depression. A huge cauldron is filled up with milk to the brim. The father lifts his new born daughter high and then drowns her in the milk, until every breath in her is snuffed out. This scene is so graphically traumatic that it keeps playing in my mind even days after watching it.
The next scene takes us a few years into future where the village is now devoid of all women. There are only men in the village. There has been no marriage in the village for past fifteen years, and desperate fathers are willing to pay lump sum amounts of money to obtain women of any age to wed off their desperate sons. The young and virile remove their frustrations by watching porn and copulating with cattle when things go bit out of hand (No Pun Intended).
In the village lives a father Ramcharan (Sudhir Pandey) of five boys and his desperate attempts to find a bride for his eldest son pays off when his Pundit gets hold of a girl Kalki(Tulip Joshi)after buying her from her father. In order to avoid any disputes between his sons, he marries off Kalki to all his 5 sons. Each night of the week, she is forced to sleep with one of the sons and their father also gets his weekly night as he has paid for the woman. All the men are barbaric in their behaviour to Kalki, except for the last son (Sushant Singh) who treats her with tenderness. When the other men notice Kalki being friendlier with their youngest brother, they kill him.
Things turn worse when they catch Kalki trying to escape and chain her to a post in the cow shed. She is then raped everyday not just by the family members but also by few of the villagers. When Kalki becomes pregnant everyone who had slept with her claims that it’s their son (The Pundit predicts that the child will be a boy). This leads to huge fight in the village and everyone including the Pundit is killed. The film ends on a hopeful note with Kalki giving birth to a girl child.
The film is visually very disturbing to watch and the credit must go to the fact that every actor has given a commendable performance in the movie . It depicts the psychological effects that it can have on men when there are no women around to care and to love and to keep them sane. Female infanticide still exists rampantly in remote villages where a girl is considered a burden and an additional mouth to feed. The scene where Kalki is bound in the cattle shed and every night a man comes to have his share of her flesh is gut-wrenching and I am still amazed at how I sat through this movie.
But a disturbing fact about the movie is that it showcases only one facet of women. A woman is a daughter, a sister, a mother and a wife. But somehow I felt that the film showed the need for a woman only in a man’s bed. What about a boy who grows up without the love of a mother. It gave me a disconcerting feeling thinking that maybe women have only purpose to fulfil in life. The film has a very noble cause and also it gets across its message without being overly crude and vulgar. At the same time it makes you feel disgusted and repelled at the barbaric acts of the sexually deprived men in village. Overall, this is a deep cinema that moves you emotionally, definitely worth a watch.