Laaga Chunari Mein Daag: Journey Of A Woman

  • 2007
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Drama, Musical

Pradeep Sarkar's lavish melodrama about a dutiful daughter and the sacrifices she makes for her family recalls both golden-age Hollywood tales of moral sacrifice and redemption and the highly regarded 1995 Marathi-language film Doghi. Sisters Vibha (Rani Mukherjee) and Chutki Sahay (Konkona Sen Sharma) grow up in straightened circumstances in Varanasi,...read more

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Reviewed by Maitland McDonagh
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Pradeep Sarkar's lavish melodrama about a dutiful daughter and the sacrifices she makes for her family recalls both golden-age Hollywood tales of moral sacrifice and redemption and the highly regarded 1995 Marathi-language film Doghi.

Sisters Vibha (Rani Mukherjee) and Chutki Sahay (Konkona Sen Sharma) grow up in straightened circumstances in Varanasi, Benares — one of India's holiest cities — but their family is happy until a heartless uncle and cousin decide to repossess the house they've always lived in. The shock nearly kills their father, Shivshankar (Anupam Kher) — who has always lamented that he has no sons — and their mother, Sabitri (Jaya Bachchan), can't support the family by sewing petticoats. So Vibha decides to become a "son" — she moves to Mumbai, claiming that Sophie, a low-level Bollywood employee who once came to Varanasi to scout movie locations, has promised her a job. Vibha fails dismally and quickly wears out her welcome with Sophie, but she can't go home empty-handed: There's no money for Shivshankar's medicine, studious Chutki's college tuition or a lawyer to keep them in the family home. When Vibha is at her lowest point, new friend Michelle gives her some no-nonsense advice: Beauty is a commodity and Vibha needs to start exploiting it.

So Vibha takes the shame-name Natasha and becomes a high-class call girl, supporting her family on her earnings as a corporate "event planner," and resigns herself to never being able to go home at all. When she meets handsome international lawyer Rohan (Abhishek Bachchan), who seems to love her, Vibha flees — what would he think if he knew what she really does for a living? Vibha's double life catches up to her when Chutki, now an MBA with a promising career at a swank Mumbai advertising agency, agrees to marry her boss, creative director Vivaan (Kunal Kapoor). How can Vibha return home for her sister's wedding without disgracing her family?

A slick, old-fashioned women's weeper in contemporary clothes, the film's song-and-dance component is relatively small; award-winning choreographer Howard Rosemeyer even stages Vibha's fall from grace as a dark psychological montage (albeit with fab op-art decor) rather than a full-blown musical number — but never fear, there's a wedding and all the spectacle that implies. Overall, LAAGA CHUNARI MEIN DAAG breaks no new ground but is solidly entertaining.

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  • Released: 2007
  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Pradeep Sarkar's lavish melodrama about a dutiful daughter and the sacrifices she makes for her family recalls both golden-age Hollywood tales of moral sacrifice and redemption and the highly regarded 1995 Marathi-language film Doghi. Sisters Vibha (Ran… (more)

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