Review by Lisa Payne
Draupadi Unleashed is the story of 16 year old Indira (Salena Qureshi), who is trying to follow her heart and find her own identity in 1930s India. She has to battle against an arranged marriage, a self-entitled, privileged guru and the cruel patriarchy.
Indira longs for break free, but is bound by family loyalty. The female characters try support Indira where they can without upsetting the apple cart.
On the surface, everything looks as if Indira is given a choice in her own life. However, dig beneath the surface and you will find manipulative hands moving Indira around like a pawn on a chessboard.
Draupadi Unleashed makes India look lush, and is the first story I can remember that specifically features aristocratic Indians, and has been made in Hollywood. It is told from the perspective of the Indian characters. Not a colonizer in sight. So refreshing.
Magical realism is the order of the day, otherwise this would have been too bleak a story to film.
The fine supporting cast include Melanie Chandra, Anna George, Anita Ghanizanda, Cas Anvar, Abi Bais, Pooja Baatra, and Gopal Divan.
See this film to for a view of India not usually portrayed in the movies. The film hits select theaters March 20.
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