Leena Yadav’s film is about women who have long accepted the injustice that has been meted out to them, and yet who do not think twice before making the grand escape, when they spot a door to liberty finally thrown open. It all seems a fantasy in the very final scene when the three friends buoyantly take to the streets, but then again, perhaps its the male mind that tends to disbelieve.
Of the three women leads in ‘Parched’, one tends to hopelessly strike up an allegiance with Lajjo (Radhika Apte), the battered wife who hasn’t a clue that men could be sterile and who has been consistently chiding herself for being barren. Beaten up black and blue by a husband who keeps thrusting his incompetence on her, Lajjo is taken aback by a man who doesn’t force herself onto her.
While Bijli (Surveen Chawla) slowly realizes that age does unimaginably horrible things to one’s self esteem, or rather what is left of it, there is also Rani (Tannishta Chatterjee) who can only meekly watch as her only son blatantly extends patriarchy onto another generation.
There are a number of sequences that stay back, and the momentum is evenly maintained. And there is Leena Yadav who astonishingly manages to unearth some real good laughter from amidst layers and layers of dejection, despondency and distress.