Provoked (2007)



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

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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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Aishwarya Rai Bachchan
as Kiranjit Ahluwalia
Miranda Richardson
as Veronica Scott
Naveen Andrews
as Deepak Ahluwalia
Nandita Das
as Radha Dalal
Robbie Coltrane
as Lord Edward Foster
Nicholas Irons
as Constable James O'Connell
Raji James
as Anil Gupta
Shaheen Khan
as Jamila
Leena Dhingra
as Sheela
Steve McFadden
as Ron Meyers
Deborah Moore
as Jackie
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News & Interviews for Provoked

Critic Reviews for Provoked

All Critics (34) | Top Critics (16)

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

May 21, 2007
Ebert & Roeper
Top Critic

The script is melodramatic, and Rai's lead performance is thin stuff.

Full Review… | May 18, 2007
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

[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.

Full Review… | May 18, 2007
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

Provoked rarely ducks below its glossy surface.

Full Review… | May 18, 2007
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
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

Unfortunately, Provoked possesses the tinny production values and schmaltzy music of a prime-time special, despite its ensemble of terrific actors.

Full Review… | May 17, 2007
Washington Post
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Provoked


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 Hussain
Ilyaas Hussain

Super Reviewer


Average real-life based movie, nothing that makes it "A Must Watch".

familiar stranger
familiar stranger

Super Reviewer

This is a fantastic movie, and one I most likely won't forget soon. This movie is deeply touching and moving. Miranda Richardson gives a stellar performance, and so does Aishwarya Rai and Naveen Andrews.

Leo L
Leo L

Super Reviewer

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