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Paheli

Director: Amol Palekar

INDIA • 2005 • SUBTITLED • COLOUR • DOLBY DIGITAL STEREO • 140 MIN


Our monthly Bollywood series continues with Paheli, a spectacular ghost story romance which vibrantly fills the screen with music, colour, drama and passion. Rani Mukerji stars as the innocent young bride abandoned by her workaholic husband (superstar Shah Rukh Khan), only to be seduced by a love-struck ghost who assumes her errant spouse’s identity. Based on novelist Vijaydan Detha’s retelling of a popular folktale, Paheli is a terrifically engaging fantasy, blending ancient legend with modern pizzazz. Though a costume picture, this has a lightness that usually escapes mainstream Indian movies. Neither the colourful visuals nor the exceptional costume design
overwhelm the production, thanks in part to some fine work by former arthouse director Amol Palekar. There’s a curiously neo-traditional feel to the movie, recalling Hindi folkloristic cinema of the 1950s—here revived in widescreen and colour.

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