Parched is the story of three women — Bijli (Surveen), Lajo (Radhika) and Rani (Tannisththa) — who live in a patriarchal village of Rajasthan that thrives on masochism. While Bijli is a dancer and also a prostitute, Rani is a widow raising her son on her own and Lajo is a wife trapped in a violent marriage and accused of being barren (banjh).
The men have either abandoned them, or use them as chattels, and instruments of brutal pleasure. Two of our three protagonists are craftswomen who earn money by stitching clothes for a handicrafts committee. And they are the sole earning members of their family. They live in houses where they are beaten up and get bruises every day, but where they provide for the daily meals. Parched shows the real fight of women in our country where financial independence is not enough for respect, because money can’t buy a change of mindset.
All the three women Radhika Apte, Tannisha Chatterjee, Surveen Chawla have given impressive and outstanding performance. But the screenplay that is written in pseudo-rural lingo keeps it from being authentic. The dialogues are written in urban Hindi sentences, just ending with “karu su” and “ke se”. There is a lot of abusing throughout the movie, and not just your mothers and sisters are abused, our protagonists find new ones to thrash the men as well.
Th movie is definitely one time watch as the film is celebrating fights against an unjust system and society and emerging winners.