Shakti | 2002 | Movie Review

Bollywood remake masking fundamentalism in Iranian society as 'Hindu Patriarchy'


Year of release—2002

Director— Krishna Vamsi

Writer—Krishna Vamsi, Kamal Pandey (dialogues)

Producer— Boney Kapoor, Sridevi Kapoor

Lead Actors— Karishma Kapoor, Nana Patekar, Sanjay Kapoor, Shah Rukh Khan

‘Shakti’ is a so-called remake of a 1987 autobiographical book called ‘Not Without My Daughter’ by an American woman named Betty. In the book, she detailed her and her 4-year-old daughter’s escape from her abusive husband Sayyed Bozorg Mahmoody in Iran. Mahmoody took Betty and their daughter to his native Iran on the pretext of meeting family but didn’t let them leave for 18 months. But they somehow escaped.

When Boney Kapoor remade the film for Indian audiences, guess which group of people he felt resembled Mahmoody’s family in Tehran? The tilak-dhari Hindus of the Hindi-speaking regions.

Kapoor changed setting to Hindu family in (presumably) Bihar, and Mahmoody to Shekhar and his father Narasimha.

This film borrows the true story of a woman who fought to escape the clutches of Islamist fundamentalism and made it into a fictional story where the villain is ‘worse-than-Taliban Hindu’.

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