Free Press Journal

Movie review: Gauraiya – Gritty but distasteful!

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Cast: Raiya Sinha, Karamveer Chaudhary, Vijay Jora, Sumit Chawla, Sushma Salvi

Director: Rajesh Hans

Rating: * *


Runtime: 109 mins

Supposedly centered around true incidents of sexploitation of Harijans by Dacoits, thekedars and other armed forces located in the north Indian desert regions of Patha and Chitrakoot, this film tries hard to ensnare it’s audience with a surfeit of cuss words and exploitative frontal nudity.

 While the treatment is gritty and the ethos, look  and cultural landscape tends to realism, the overabundant use of dehumanizing slang and copious plants of frontal nudity in the guise of sexploitation exposes, is just not palatable. It seemed like the director had some noble intentions to begin with- like making a case for cautious implementation of the 216 A law that empowers the police to take in hapless villagers as a preventive measure against armed attack. But those intentions  get lost in the exploitative content masquerading as a social awareness treatise.

The writer/Director does try to broaden the ambit a bit by adding a young activist/writer, Shefali, working on a book titled ‘End of crime’ as part of her PhD thesis work – to the story. Shefali visits the oppressed and the oppressors,  making notes and soothing pained brows as part of her effort to understand the cycle of crime and criminality.  But there’s little or no affect there other than as a convenient prop- just like the NGO sent to the village to serve the oppressed victims, becoming yet another spoke in the wheel of oppression.

Also, the characters have no growth curve. The lead character Gauraiya(Raiya Sinha), moves from one sexploitative experience to another without any repulsive action to showcase her unwillingness. The performances are pretty sanguine though. The villains are also typically vicious and boot happy. There’s absolutely no relief to be had in the abusive assemblage. The entire experience was gross and the rendering criminally  undermines the cause of women’s empowerment. Token posturing of one so-called strong woman character who stands up against oppression doesn’t balance it out either. Best avoided or else be resigned to your thankless fate!