Aishwarya Rai dazzles at the 59th Cannes Film Festival


The Cannes Film festival was first started in 1932 and held at Venice to encourage the development of all forms of cinematographic art and foster a spirit of collaboration between film producing countries. Later on post World War 2, the festival was revived in Cannes. Bollywood has been associated with Cannes since the early days. Many Indian films like Bimal Roy’s Do Bigha Zamin, Rajkumar’s Awara etc were screened then, but after that there was a lull in the participation of Indian cinema. However once more in 2002, Indian cinema re-established her connection with Cannes. In 2002, Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Devdas was screened in a special category. Bollywood queen Aishwarya Rai was present to promote the film, in which she played an integral part.
The following year Miss Rai was back at the Cannes as a jury member. Ash seems to have developed a bond with the small French town and the Cannes film festival. Now once again, the 59th Cannes festival saw the beautiful Miss Rai present for the event on Wednesday, 17th May, for the opening of the Cannes. Aishwarya Rai was present at the event to promote her film Provoked, a real life story by Jagmohan Mundhra. The film portrays one of the most beautiful women in a completely different avatar. Ash plays the role of an abused and battered housewife, Kiranjit Ahluwalia. Kiran was abused and tortured by her husband for ten painful years when one fine day after being physically and mentally tortured, she murdered her husband.

Kiranjit’s case was instrumental in bringing about a landmark change in the English law on women who murdered their spouses after cruel physical and mental torture by their husband. Kiran’s was the first case that was given a sentence of only 3 years and 4 months after which she was released on the grounds of diminished responsibility, she then wrote her life story in a book titled ‘Circler of Light’. Mundhra has adapted her book and has chosen Aishwarya to portray Kiranjit’s role. The film was screened on Thursday at the Cannes. Says the pretty actress “I was immediately taken with the story and Kiranjit’s character. I realized the importance of the film, especially for women and the issue of domestic violence.”

Miss Rai enjoys being a part of the Cannes festival and looks forward to being a part of the event every year. Ash says “Coming to the Cannes is a great high. It is a beautiful city with great people and films. I don’t get to visit many festivals, but Cannes is truly one event I do try to attend each year.” Ash was seen alongside Hollywood actresses Andie McDowell and Kerry Washington on the opening night for the world premiere of The Da Vinci Code.