Provoked: A True Story
Time Out says
Bollywood babe Aishwarya Rai is Kiranjit Ahluwalia, the British Punjabi woman who was sentenced to life imprisonment after she set alight and killed her brutish husband, Deepak (Naveen Andrews) by pouring petrol on his bed as he slept in Southall, west London in May 1989. After being sentenced that same year, Kiranjit appealed against her conviction in 1992 with the help of a support group, the Southhall Black Sisters, and successfully had her guilty plea to a manslaughter charge accepted by the court. Ahluwalia has since welcomed this British-Indian co-production based on her story.
Mundhra’s approach to his fiery subject results in a film which is a dramatic mishmash of ‘EastEnders’, ‘Prisoner Cell Block H’ and ‘Crown Court’, with most characters emerging as soapy stereotypes. But ‘Provoked’ rises above the suds because it still manages to engage at a poignant level. Rai, in her latest bid for mainstream respectability, drops her previous and irritating doe-eyed mannerisms and, with the aid of a strong supporting cast, delivers a fragile, restrained and credible performance. It’s a low-key message movie, but it still packs a punch.