Provoked - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Provoked Reviews

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June 17, 2014
This film should reach the doors of battered and abused women out there...
March 1, 2013
This has a great cast, but it has a pretty slow and forgettable story.
February 3, 2013
alguem tem esse filme eu quero assistir
July 13, 2012
Aish should have won an Oscar for her acting in this one...
December 27, 2011
This is a must see for all women! Ashwariya is absolutely amazing in it!
December 6, 2011
wow what women had to go thru so sad cried couple of time.
½ October 2, 2011
A thought provoking well made film based on a true story
Super Reviewer
½ July 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.
April 8, 2011
Excellent screenplay..
March 9, 2011
A good movie to watch, though hard to watch at the same time. While society deals with spousal abuse (mental, physical, and sexual) all the time, sometimes we forget that if we don't do something to help, others will suffer the same fate. Aishwarya Rai plays Kiran, a young married Indian woman (in an arranged marriage which is traditional for many Indian cultures even today) who wants nothing but to please her husband and family - again, this movie deals with different cultural aspects and traditions so you must keep an open mind if you're unfamiliar with Eastern cultures. However, her husband's temper rises throughout the years of their marriage, with his blaming her for getting him upset when she confronts him about his cheating and affairs (and drinking later on). After another night of abuse, she snaps and sets her husband on fire. After he dies from his injuries, she is sent to prison for murder. However, prison begins her struggle to freedom. After meeting Ronnie (Miranda Richardson), a mother herself who had a similar married life as Kiran, Kiran learns to find her voice and stand up for all those women who have come before her. She is ultimately freed by the judicial system in a landmark case called "R v Ahluwalia", redefining provocation in cases of battered women in the UK. While there were liberties taken with this 'based on a true story' film (like many other 'true event films', the story stills holds a deep and true meaning that we must stand up for what is right.
½ February 20, 2011
happens to be one of very few movies that I like ARB's performance..!!
½ February 2, 2011
A good message through an above-average performance and plot.
½ December 28, 2010
gooseflesh :D based on kiranjit s autobiography : in total a nice watch .
Super Reviewer
July 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.
July 2, 2010
Suffering in silence is not the way out." It's the true story of a Punjabi woman named Kiranjit Ahluwalia who leaves India to marry a London-based guy (Naveen Andrews), only to be badly abused. She ends up in prison for murdering her abusive husband.

I can't imagine enduring what she did but her suffering caused her to grow considerably stronger than she thought possible and luckily in her case justice prevailed. In many cases of spousal abuse this is not the case... Aishwarya is captivating! Worth watching especially if you've experienced this type of treatment or know someone who has.
½ June 28, 2010
"You don't wanna dress like them White girls! Don't try to be one of them." Deepak Ahluwalia -- Naveen Andrews

In British Legal History, there are few cases that are as widely known and recognised by that of Kiranjit Ahluwalia. It was talked about much when it was in the news, and it was extremely controversial due to its determining on the court's judgements of provocation. The case saw Kiranjit suffer 10 years of abuse from her husband Deepak. As retaliation one night that she had been abused, she took a flammable liquid, poured it on a sleeping Deepak, and set him alight. It sparked mass media attention, at a time where it was widely known that the British Police Force were strongly racist at the time. The film Provoked is a dramatisation of that story. As a student of Law, I didn't watch the film to be entertained or see it as art: I saw it to see how the legislation on defining Provocation in court changed. However, that doesn't mean that I didn't recognise the good and bad things about the film, as I was still in my film-buff mindset as I was watching the film.

So I've already stated that the case followed Kiranjit's killing of her husband. The film displays Kiranjit's life in prison and appeals, and follows flashbacks that show that Deepak was initially a very caring husband, but soon became the abusing man that we know him has. He drank a lot, slept with other women, and often raped Kiranjit; claiming that it was his right. It was a truly sickening story, further cemented by the fact that it was a true story. It's hard to believe that people can actually be so cruel and despicable. I've not felt so much sickening emotion and pure sadness towards the human race since the Elephant Man. However, I hated the flashback way of revealing parts of the story. There were certain parts of the case that weren't revealed until the court scenes. When they show the flashbacks, they seem to be too distracting. The best example I can give involves Deepak's mother in court. She states that she herself never witnessed Deepak abusing his wife. Straight after this statement, a flashback is played. It shows that she witnessed a cruel act and reveals that she was aware that her son was having an affair, something that was against their culture. The scene cuts back to the court scene. The reason that this was put into the film was to build tension, and was supposed to make us hate the film's adaptation of the person. It didn't work, and it was completely unfitting. It doesn't have a sense of subtlety. I have a major problem with the plot though, and it only lasted a couple of seconds. In the case, it is known that Kiranjit set fire to Deepak intentionally: it was her actions. In one of the flashbacks, it tries to hint that it was an accident. The scene begins with Kiranjit performing the acts in the case, when Deepak suddenly awakens. He begins kicking around, and knocks the candle that Kiranjit was holding out of her hand. It's clear that she didn't throw it on him; it's portrayed in the film as an accident. It completely goes against the rest of the film's idea of defending Kiranjit's actions on the basis of Provocation. That's a huge problem that really brings the film down. It's even more frustrating because it's so simple to look at this and think "That's not what happened in the case". I know people are going to attempt to defend this action by saying that it's a fictionalisation of the actual event, but it's still completely opposite to what the film is trying to set out. Imagine if in the Elephant Man they changed it so that everyone believed that the person who ran the Freak Show never hit John Merrick, but the film then show us clips that show that he never caused any harm to him. It would completely go against what the film had already established.

Aishwarya Rai plays the lead role as Kiranjit Ahluwalia. Rai does a good job at imitating the person we had seen in the news story videos. However, I never felt the emotion of her. When we were meant to be feeling sad about her remembering the time she was raped, I wasn't convinced by the performance. It seemed that the genuine shock and the sorrow that the character was experiencing was being forced by the Actress. The same can be said of Naveen Andrews as Kiranjit's husband Deepak. I never bought him as the abusive husband that he was meant to be. I know that they were trying to portray them as real people, but it doesn't change the fact that they weren't convincing. What annoyed me is that they got Robbie Coltrane in the film. Coltrane is an actor I like. Coltrane is a respected actor and a big name in Britain and it seems that they hired him just for his name. He's completely miscast as Kiranjit's lawyer towards the end of the film. Any actor could have played the role.

I felt cheated a lot of the time with the emotions. It didn't seem to be the actual story at times trying to get a reaction from you: rather the score. It was unbelievably strong, and tried to manipulate your emotional reaction to the situation. When the anger of Deepak was about to be displayed on Kiranjit, the score would get really strong and would be heavy on drums and such. It was a lazy technique that the film followed, and ruined what could have been the film's strongest element. One of the biggest weaknesses of the film is the dialogue. It's terrible. It sounds really cliché and not at all like real speech. The court scenes are uninteresting because they are poorly written, and it says a lot when I dislike a Court Scene.

Provoked is a story that was worth telling; but I don't think that it should have been as a film like this. The end result is a film that would just as easily worked as a TV Drama, or perhaps a documentary. As a film, it really falls short. I'm not criticising it for telling the story of Kiranjit's court case, because it was a hugely important event in UK Law. I just feel that it shouldn't have been told the way it does here.

Andrew's rating: 3 out of 10
June 5, 2010
I can't imagine enduring what she did but her suffering caused her to grow considerably stronger than she thought possible and luckily in her case justice prevailed. In many cases of spousal abuse this is not the case... Aishwarya is captivating! Worth watching especially if you've experienced this type of treatment or know someone who has. This is a fantastic movie, and one I most likely won't forget soon. This movie is deeply touching and moving.
May 16, 2010
True story about a Punjabi woman who falls into an abusive marriage and is sentenced to life in prison when she burns him in his bed. As always, beautiful Aishwarya Rai pulled it off once again.
½ May 2, 2010
Not sure why people are judging this movie on its' message I don't think it was promoting burning lying, cheating, abusives a$$holes that rape their wives. But just telling the story of one who got smoked. It was a well acted film maybe a little melodramatic and it might have come across llike a soap opera at times, but my first Bollywood experience that I have really enjoyed
April 19, 2010
It was okay. Aishwarya, Naveen, and Miranda were clearly the best actors of the film and that's not saying much, but it was fine. It's heartbreaking to see the injustices that far too many women face all the time in abusive marriages , especially when it's an arranged marriage.
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