Watch Rudaali

  • 1993
  • 2 hr 8 min
  • 7.4  (570)

Rudaali is a powerful and emotional Indian film released in 1993, directed by Kalpana Lajmi, and starring Rakhee Gulzar, Dimple Kapadia, and Raj Babbar. The movie is based on a short story by noted Hindi author, Mahasweta Devi. The title of the movie, Rudaali, refers to a profession of women in North India who are hired to cry at funerals. They are known for their ability to express deep-seated emotions through tears, which is otherwise a taboo in the patriarchal society.

The movie revolves around the life of Shanichari (Rakhee Gulzar), a poor and lower-caste woman working as a rudaali in a small village in Rajasthan. Her life is filled with hardships, and she has been forced to live her life as an outcast as she lost her husband and child due to the negligence of the upper-caste people. However, in spite of the adversities, Shanichari maintains a stoic composure and rarely sheds tears, which is an essential part of her job.

The plot of the movie thickens with the arrival of a wealthy upper-caste woman, Bhikni (Dimple Kapadia), who has come to the village to fulfill her last wish of having a rudaali cry at her funeral. Shanichari is hired for the job, and their paths cross, leading to an unexpected and heartfelt bond of friendship. Despite their different backgrounds and social status, the two women form a unique bond that transcends societal barriers.

The relationship between Shanichari and Bhikni forms the crux of the movie, and the portrayal of their friendship is a standout feature of Rudaali. The two women connect on a much deeper level than just the professional arrangement they have between them. Their conversations provide insights into their different worlds, and the pain and suffering they have endured in their lives.

The movie captures the harsh realities of women living in rural India, the oppressive caste system, and the daily struggles they face. Through Shanichari's character, the audience witnesses the plight of a woman who is stuck in a societal system that treats her like an outcast - she is denied basic human rights, her dignity is often questioned, and she is isolated from the rest of the world.

Rakhee Gulzar delivers a brilliant performance as Shanichari, showcasing her quiet strength, and the pent-up emotions that lay hidden beneath her stoic exterior. She brings out the authenticity of a rudaali with the adeptness with which she presents the nuances of the character. Dimple Kapadia’s portrayal of Bhikni brings a sense of empathy for an upper-caste woman who wants to break free from the limitations of her social position.

Finally, the movie's music is a treat to the ears, with heart-wrenching tunes and soulful lyrics that add depth to the emotions portrayed on screen. The songs are an essential part of the narrative, capturing the essence of the characters' emotions, and further drawing the audience into the story.

Overall, Rudaali is an unforgettable cinematic experience that delves into the harsh realities of a society that treats women as objects of oppression. It tells the story of two women from different worlds, who find solace and support in each other, and a shoulder to cry on amidst the harshness of their respective lives. The film's themes of caste discrimination, gender inequality, and social taboos are still relevant today, making it a must-watch for anyone concerned with the State of women's rights in India.

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  • Release Date
  • Runtime
    2 hr 8 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.4  (570)