Aishwarya Rai Provoked into doing Mundhra film
Surprises have become a part of Aishwarya Rai’s personality. But this one would take even her close friends aback. Tonight, Aishwarya Rai is scheduled to fly off to London to shoot a major, hush-hush film.
“Yes, it’s called Provoked,” she confirms. “I leave to shoot for a start-to-finish schedule in London, which ends in June. It’s the true story of a Punjabi woman named Kiranjit Ahluwalia, who left India to marry a London-based guy only to be badly abused in the marriage.
She finally ends up in prison for murdering her husband. Her predicament connects with me in ways I never felt before.”
Provoked is being directed by Jagmohan Mundhra, whose earlier credits include Kamla and Bawandar, both dealing with the subject of traumatised women.
“The director calls it his trilogy of tributes to Indian womanhood,” says Ash. “It happened very suddenly. It all came together. I was in the UK for Mistress Of Spices when they approached me with the idea. I immediately consented. Within two weeks, everything fell in place.”
The film is being produced by a friend of the Rais. “The producer is Dr Murli, who produced one my early films, Jeans. They’ve never exploited their relations with me. They came to me again only when they had the right project.”
Provoked is based on a case that forced the law on crimes of passion to be amended in the UK. “I think Jagmohan Mundhra is the right person to tackle the subject,” says the actress.
“What I find especially interesting is, eventually the woman finds justice within her horrific circumstances. I play the central character to give a known face to the woman’s plight. It’s a role that requires me to go through many shades.
From hurt-shock-anger to a tentative sense of vindication…. This is actually the first time I’m playing a real-life character, so you can imagine my excitement and nervousness.”
Provoked also features Miranda Richardson, Naveen Andrews, Jimmy Mistry and Nandita Das.