Critics Consensus

Provoked's story is worth telling, but the hammy dialogue and heavy-handed direction doesn't give it the refined treatment it deserves.



Total Count: 35


Audience Score

User Ratings: 7,461
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Movie Info

Inspired by the true story of Kiranjit Ahluwalia, Jag Mundhra's Provoked tells the tale of a battered wife pushed to the ultimate act of defiance. As a nineteen year old girl living in a small Punjab village with her overbearing sisters and their husbands, Kiranjit Ahluwalia (Aishwarya Rai) aspired to get a college education and see the world. Despite her ambitious plans, however, Kiranjit put her entire future on hold the moment she met handsome family friend Deepak (Naveen Andrews). Later, after a whirlwind romance, Kiranjit and Deepak married and prepared to move into Deepak's home in a quaint suburb of London. Kiranjit's storybook romance would quickly give way to a terrifying reality however when, over the course of the following decade, the loving bride suffered a relentless torrent of emotional and physical abuse of her tyrannical husband. Eventually pushed to her breaking point and desperately fearing for the safety of her children, Kiranjit killed Deepak and was subsequently sentenced to life in prison. Though Kiranjit was at first reluctant to share the details of her harrowing experience, she eventually became convinced that the only way to break the cycle of violence was to share her story with the world. Miranda Richardson, Rebecca Pidgeon, and Robbie Coltrane co-star in a docudrama that encourages viewers to take a closer look at the proliferation of domestic violence.

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Critic Reviews for Provoked

All Critics (35) | Top Critics (17)

  • The real-life heroes in this story deserve better than a formulaic, poorly shot melodrama.

    May 21, 2007
  • The script is melodramatic, and Rai's lead performance is thin stuff.

    May 18, 2007 | Rating: 1.5/4 | Full Review…
  • [Director] Mundhra can't control the expansiveness of the melodrama or focus on the terseness of realism. Every character in Provoked, from victims to tyrants, Indian to English, loud to quiet, ends up as a grossly exaggerated comic creation.

    May 18, 2007 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • Provoked rarely ducks below its glossy surface.

    May 18, 2007 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

    Ty Burr

    Boston Globe
    Top Critic
  • The true-crime drama Provoked has everything to offer except a cinematic point of view and a knack for depicting human beings under duress. Those are major drawbacks.

    May 17, 2007 | Rating: 1.5/4
  • Unfortunately, Provoked possesses the tinny production values and schmaltzy music of a prime-time special, despite its ensemble of terrific actors.

    May 17, 2007 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Provoked

  • Jul 10, 2011
    A well-picked but badly told story, director Jagmohan Mundhra caricatures practically everything on screen - taking away from the realism that could've made Provoked a great movie, and Aishwarya Rai, indifferent from her character, doesn't help the proceedings.
    Ilyaas H Super Reviewer
  • Jul 28, 2010
    This truth had to be told like many others out there which are waiting and happening at second we write/read or hear about those. Great perfomance by Aishu.
    NaWie M Super Reviewer
  • Feb 13, 2010
    Bollywood movie . Naveen Andrews of Lost is in this so I guess that?s why Ernie let me borrow it (I love my Losties!!) It?s a true story about the Birtish High court case in 1984 of Kiranjit Ahluwalia who?s revenge on her husband lands her in Jail. Naveen plays Deepak an abusive husband that pays dearly for it. Aishwarya Rai plays Kiranjit Ahluwalia, The lovely wife, that after 10 years well just refused to take it anymore. He cheated, drank & of course the abuse. She?s thrown in jail. That when the story really starts. The movie is interesting, occasionally frustration but not the movie itself but you yourself possibly starting to feel how Kiranjit does. (esp if you have ever been bullied or harassed in anyway, I?m sure. Not my usual thing but I did enjoy it in ways. The acting I thought was at least good. If you can find it, I?d say to at least try it. B
  • Jan 06, 2009
    Average real-life based movie, nothing that makes it "A Must Watch".
    familiar s Super Reviewer

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