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The Tradition

Genre: Drama / Social Issue  Recommended: General Audience   Released: 2 May 2008

Starring: Nargis Bagheri, Upendra Limaye, Raman Trikha, Sudha Chandran, Vinay Apte, Suzanne Bernert, Hemant Pandey, Sujata Sehgal, Rohini Kapoor, Vinod Khemani
Directed by Hridesh Kamble

Pranali - The Tradition is an issue based film. A little over an hour in duration, the debutante director Hirdesh Kamble's film talks about the Devdasi system which is still prevalent in certain parts of India. Definitely, a debatable topic here, which suggests the idea of giving legal sanction to such women who are practicing this age-old tradition in the name of God.

She vows never to let her enter the flesh trade and then seeks education for her child. However her child is barred from getting education from the place where all the socially authoritative people send their kids for schooling.

There is an NRI who helps Pranali to get her child educated. He decides to write a book on Pranali's life. This NRI then helps Pranali's co-sex workers to get out of the wretched tradition and also tries to get a legal sanction for the so-called profession of sex-workers.

Credits & Crew
Presenter - Harward Entertainment
Produced by Nikhil Mathur
Directed by Hridesh Kamble
Story & screenplay - Hridesh Kamble, Manoj Pandey
Dialogues - Manoj Pandey
Original Music by Kailash Kher, Naresh - Paresh
Cinematography by Najeeb Khan
Film Editing by Chaitanya Bose
Action Director - Abbas Ali Moghul
Lyrics - Anil Pandey
Art Director - Jasmita Pathare
Costume Designer - Nikunj Vyas
Choreographer - Saroj Khan
Playback Singers - Shreya Ghosal, Sunidhi Chauhan, Richa Sharma, Pandit Birju Maharaj, Mahalaxmi Iyer, Kailash Kher, Madhushri, Udit Narayan
Music Company: Harward Music

The producer Nikhil Mathur claims that the centuries old Indian tradition of Devdasis exists even today in certain parts of India. After visiting several places in India where this tradition exists even today, he decided to make a film on this issue.

The film begins when a foreigner known as Judy comes across a prostitute named Pranali whose husband is writing a book on her life. Then the movie goes into flashback:

In a famine hit poor village somewhere near the borders of Karnataka and Maharashtra, the parents of a little girl (Pranali) are convinced by a priest to allow their daughter enter into the system of Devdasis.

The centuries old arrangement of this system is that in the name of God, young girls are forced to carry out prostitution. Once when just a child, the village mahant (Abhay Bhargava) casts his evil eye on Pranali. She is handed over to the priest to carry out the system of Devdasis. Then this village mahant exploits her mercilessly along with the powers that be.

Pranali's (Nargis Bagheri) journey began as a devdasi and eventually at some point in the course of this system, she lands up into prostitution. She is now in Akka's (Sudaha Chandran) brothel in Mumbai red light area. Having been forced into flesh trade, Pranali's life gets a fresh lease of meaning and purpose in her life, when she gives birth to a baby girl.

One of the best thing about the film is its music which composed by Kailash Kher along with Paresh and Naresh. The music sounds fresh, and the Tandav dance which has been choreographed by Pandit Birju Maharaj is impressive.

Nargis does a fairly good job with her role. Among the supporting cast, Sudha Chandran is quite imposing as the brothel madame. Others in the supporting cast like Vinay Apte, Abhay Bhargava and Raman Trikha turn in able performances.

Debutante director Hirdesh Kamble's film Pranali comes across as his honest attempt to explore the issue of Devdasis without any desire to titillate his audience. Thanks to the director for tackling this social issue with an approach of honesty.

   -  Paresh B. Mehta


Pranali - Nargis Bagheri
Taxi Driver - Upendra Limaye
Vijay - Raman Trikha
Akka - Sudha Chandran
Politician - Vinay Apte
Judy - Suzanne Bernert
Hemant Pandey
Sujata Sehgal
Rohini Kapoor
Vinod Khemani
Kalpana Sathe
Abhay Bhargav
Vaidehi Singh
Vaishnavi Rao



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