World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Provoked (film)

Directed by Jag Mundhra
Produced by Sunanda Murali Manohar
Written by Carl Austin
Rahila Gupta
Starring Aishwarya Rai
Robbie Coltrane
Miranda Richardson
Naveen Andrews
Music by A. R. Rahman
Cinematography Madhu Ambat
Edited by Sanjeev Mirajkar
Distributed by Private Moments Ltd
Release dates
  • 14 June 2006 (2006-06-14) (International Indian Film Academy Festival)
  • 6 April 2007 (2007-04-06) (United Kingdom)
Country United Kingdom
Language English and Punjabi
Box office $3,078,709 (INT)[1]

Provoked is a 2006 British film, directed by Jag Mundhra. It stars Aishwarya Rai, Naveen Andrews, Miranda Richardson, Robbie Coltrane, Nandita Das and Steve McFadden. The film is loosely based on the true story of Kiranjit Ahluwalia who killed her abusive husband.

Cinematography for the film was handled by Madhu Ambat. The film's score and soundtrack was composed by A. R. Rahman, and the theme song for the film, Alive, was composed by Rahman and sung by Karen David, who has a small cameo in the film. Shot in London, the film was released theatrically in April 2007.


  • Plot 1
  • Cast 2
  • Release 3
  • Reception 4
  • Box office 5
  • Music 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8


Kiranjit Ahluwalia (Southall Black Sisters.

Kiranjit is sentenced to life imprisonment with possibility of parole in 12 years. She befriends her cellmate, a White woman named Veronica Scott (Miranda Richardson), who teaches her English. Veronica is also friends with several girls in the prison and stands up for Kiranjit against the local prison bully. Veronica enlists her brother, Edward Foster (Robbie Coltrane), a highly respected Queen's Counsel, to aide in Kiranjit's appeal. Edward, in turn, realizes Kiranjit's importance to his sister and the importance of her case. His sister's request has additional meaning given that Veronica would not let him help her with her own appeal due to their on off relationship since childhood.

Before Kiranjit's appeal hearing the provocation in cases of battered women in the UK.



This film was screened in the Marché du Film Cannes Film Market during the Cannes Film Festival in April 2006. Aishwarya Rai was present with director Jag Mundhra to promote the film through press conferences and parties. In June, the film opened the 2006 International Indian Film Academy Film Festival in Dubai. The screening was attended by Bollywood personalities including Amitabh Bachan and Shabana Azmi, as well as by international media.


On Rotten Tomatoes the film has a rating of 29 percent.[2] View London gave a two stars out of five said "Provoked is just about worth seeing for its important subject matter and for Aishwarya Rai's performance but it's a real struggle at times, due to the astonishingly inept direction." BBC gave three stars said, "Provoked avoids sentimentality and illustrates how one woman's bravery helped fuel a nationwide crusade and irrevocably altered British laws on domestic violence".[3] Derek Elley from Variety stated "With Rai dignified in a largely reactive role, it's the playing by thesps like Richardson and Das, both excellent, that broadens the pic's emotional palette. Main weakness is that, in the flashbacks, Deepak's role has little backgrounding, and his violent outbursts are given no psychological underpinnings. Picture is more a quality meller, with clearly defined heroes and villains, than a slice of social realism. But for viewers prepared to go with the flow, it works at a gut, movie-movie level".[4] The Times which gave a three stars describes "The key to the picture is its resonant message: everyone should see it to be reminded that domestic violence will never be acceptable, and that the law will now not tolerate it. Mundra thankfully gets Aishwarya Rai to drop her annoying Bollywood mannerisms and surrounds her with sturdy, mainly British, supporting actors. The result is that the actress finally delivers a performance which is not only moving but worthy of the fiery material".[5] UK Channel Film4 rated four stars gave a verdict "A bold story, told with sensitivity and compassion".[6]

[7] CNN-IBN's Rajeev Masand gave a "Good" verdict and stated "In all honesty, Provoked wouldn't work if it wasn't for two performances that uplift the film considerably. It's a sensitive film about domestic abuse. The real star of Provoked is Aishwarya Rai who delivers a performance that is appropriately restrained. [...] I'll say here, she surprises you with what she strums up. It's a performance that penetrates into your consciousness because she plays it with a slow-burning passion rather than an all-out flourish. This is easily one of her better acting jobs".[8] Daily News and Analysis which also gave a three star rating said "With a story like this it would have been very easy to go overboard, it is to director Jag Mundhra's credit that he keeps a tight leash on the melodrama aspect of the story. Aishwarya Rai plays the battered wife in what is undoubtedly one of her best performances to date. Starting as the young, coy and simpering wife, Kiranjit, who is abused to such an extent that she sets her husband Deepak, (Naveen Andrews), on fire after a particularly brutal beating one night, Rai convincingly goes through the various stages of shock, bewilderment, remorse and finally vindication."[9] Times Of India stated that "It's Aishwarya's film from the word go. The story is powerful, yes, but the passion and the pain finds articulation through Aishwarya's sensitive rendition of the protagonist. From the very first shot, the actor grabs the role by its horns and shakes it around to sculpt a moving portrayal of a battered woman who happens to chance upon a rare source of inner strength to fight against domestic terror and terrifying traditions that demand silence from a wife, come what may".[10] Critic Subhash K Jha wrote "Provoked answers the complicated question of domestic disharmony with a deft and direct approach to the question of a woman's place in the man's scream of things. Full credit to Aishwarya Rai for plunging deep into a part that she plays straight from her heart. There're moments in the narrative where Rai melts your heart like an ice-cream cone left out in the sun for too long".[11] Indian Express gave four stars stating, " It's a film of substance. A film based on real life. A film that would move many. A film that would make a difference in many a lives. Aishwarya has done a good job. She has definitely brought forth the trauma and torture borne by the character. And the absence of her overdone make-up and glamorous good-looks has made her look more attractive (!) and fit into the role well".[12]

The Southall Black Sisters, who helped the real-life Kiranjit Ahluwalia, have criticised the film for being riddled with "factual and legal inaccuracies". Two members from the organization, Pragna Patel and Rahila Gupta, whose characters have been merged to create one person, played by the Indian actress Nandita Das, said it took "a lot of artistic license".

After seeing the film, Patel is said to have told the Oberserver newspaper "I cringe a bit because I was so closely involved. Sometimes I think people should rise to the challenge of reflecting real life better. My view is that the reality is far more interesting."[13]

Rahila Gupta, who co-wrote Circle of Light and the script, stated: "It's a shame that film is an artistic form in which you have to make a fair amount of compromises to make it happen." She criticised the film's characterisation as "one dimensional", and the portrayal of Kiranjit Ahluwalia's husband as an alcoholic.

In the film Kiranjit Ahluwalia is portrayed as a middle class homemaker instead of a factory worker as she was in reality, Pragna Patel and Rahila Gupta's characters are merged to create one person, played by the Indian actress Nandita Das, and Americanized legal terminology rather than the actual British. The director Jagmohan "Jag" Mundhra in his defense said "Even if you tell a true story, a true story is never really a true story. How do you define the truth? None of us were really there and obviously the recollections of people who were there have changed now. Ultimately I do have to tell an engaging story. If I can't tell an engaging story no matter what cause is at stake, nobody will see it."[13]

Box office

The film fared well at the UK BoxOffice,thus turning out to be a success.[14][15]


Soundtrack album by A. R. Rahman
Released 2007
Recorded Panchathan Record Inn and AM Studios
A. R. Rahman chronology

The score and the theme song of the film were composed by Academy Award winner Indian composer A. R. Rahman. The theme song, Alive was composed by Rahman, and written and performed by Karen David. The other tracks were done by Karen David. According to her blog, these songs were co-written with Rahman,[16] however Rahman has officially confirmed that he has done only a single track for the film. Another version of the song Alive was recorded by Shreya Ghoshal but was not featured in the movie or officially released. The Hindi Version of 'Alive' was named 'Zindagi and was written by Mayur Puri.

  1. Alive - 4:20 (performed by Karen David)
  2. Zindagi - 4:20 (written by Mayur Puri)
  3. Carry Me Home - 3:52
  4. Save You - 4:29
  5. Shillong - 4:52


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Provoked (2007)". Rotten Tomatoes. 
  3. ^ "Provoked (2007)". BBC. Retrieved 2 April 2007. 
  4. ^ Elley, Derek (4 April 2007). "Provoked: A True Story". Variety. Retrieved 4 April 2007. 
  5. ^ Sinanan, Anil (12 April 2007). "Provoked". London: The Times. Retrieved 12 April 2007. 
  6. ^ "PROVOKED". Film4. 
  7. ^ "Provoked tells an important story". Rediff. Retrieved 6 April 2007. 
  8. ^ "Masand's verdict: Provoked". Retrieved 16 Feb 2008. 
  9. ^ "Provoked (English)-Stirred and shaken". DNA. Retrieved 6 April 2007. 
  10. ^ Kazmi, Nikhat (7 April 2007). "Provoked". Time of india. Retrieved 7 April 2007. 
  11. ^ s take on Provoked""Subhash K Jha. Bollywood Hungama. Retrieved 20 September 2006. 
  12. ^ "Movie review: Provoked". Indian Express. Retrieved 6 April 2007. 
  13. ^ a b Sharp, Rob (21 May 2006). "How a beauty queen and an abused wife stirred fury at Cannes". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 2007-12-22. 
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^

External links

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.