- 2 hr 14 min
Hari-Bhari is a Hindi movie from the year 2000 that explores the lives of three women in a rural village in India. The film is directed by Shyam Benegal, known for his socially conscious films, and stars Shabana Azmi, Rajit Kapoor, and Rajeshwari Sachdev. The story of Hari-Bhari centers around the lives of three women - Ghazala (Shabana Azmi), Kausar (Rajeshwari Sachdev), and Rabia (Nandita Das). Ghazala is the eldest of the three sisters-in-law, married to a man named Lajwanti's (Rajit Kapoor) older brother, who has been rendered impotent due to an accident in his youth. Kausar is married to Lajwanti's younger brother, who is an alcoholic and is physically and mentally abusive towards her. Rabia is a young widow who lives with Ghazala and her family and is constantly under threat of being forced to remarry. As the film progresses, the lives of the three women begin to unravel, exposing the harsh realities of life in a patriarchal society. Ghazala struggles to cope with her husband's impotence and the disintegration of her family's once-sound financial standing. Kausar is forced to deal with her husband's erratic behavior, which leads to an unwanted pregnancy. Rabia, on the other hand, struggles to retain her independence and avoid being forced into a marriage she doesn't want. The film's narrative is driven by the everyday struggles of these women as they try to navigate their way through life in a society that is often prejudiced against them. Each of the three women has a distinct personality and perspective on life, and their interactions with each other are insightful and nuanced. The film also touches upon themes such as class, caste, and gender inequality, and how these issues affect the lives of people living in rural India. One of the standout features of Hari-Bhari is its strong female characters. The film portrays women who are not just victims of patriarchal oppression but who are also capable of standing up for themselves and fighting for their rights. Shabana Azmi's portrayal of Ghazala is particularly powerful - she brings to life a complex character who is fiercely protective of her family and willing to take on any challenge that comes her way. Rajeshwari Sachdev and Nandita Das also give compelling performances in their respective roles. The film's cinematography and music are also noteworthy. The cinematography captures the rural landscape of India beautifully, highlighting the contrast between the lush greenery of the fields and the poverty and hardship of the people who live there. The film's music, composed by Vanraj Bhatia, is in keeping with the film's themes, with soulful melodies and poignant lyrics. In conclusion, Hari-Bhari is a thought-provoking film that sheds light on the struggles of women in rural India. It is a powerful reminder of the need for women's empowerment and the importance of fighting against patriarchal oppression in all its forms. With its strong performances, engaging narrative, and insightful themes, Hari-Bhari is a must-watch for anyone who is interested in socially conscious cinema.