Provoked: A True Story | Chicago Reader

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No one breaks into song, but this fact-based legal drama about a battered Anglo-Indian wife on trial for murdering her husband is infected with a fatal strain of heaving Bollywood melodrama. Aishwarya Rai (Bride and Prejudice) stars as Kiranjit Ahluwalia, who suffered a decade of physical and psychological abuse before torching her spouse in his sleep in 1989. Screenwriters Carl Austin and Rahila Gupta have fictionalized her story somewhat and smother the complex case in courtroom-drama and prison-picture cliches. Jag Mundhra directed; with Miranda Richardson, Naveen Andrews, Nandita Das, Robbie Coltrane, and Rebecca Pidgeon, injecting some welcome British reserve as one of the woman's barristers. In English and subtitled Punjabi. 113 min.

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