indian cinema heritage foundation

Mrityudand (1997)

  • LanguageHindi
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Three women in a Bihar village are sentenced to death by their manfolk. Their crime is that they dared to protest........

Ketki (Madhuri Dixit) an educated young girl with dreams in her eyes, gets married into a family of upper class landlords. Her husband Vinay Singh (Ayub Khan) has not agricultural land left, does not have the capital to start a business, and fails to secure a job due to the government's policy of reservation. Ketki makes sacrifices to support him in his entrepreneurial endeavours. But fails to restrain him when, in desperation to get rich quick, he aligns with the wrong people. Contractor and power broker Tirpat (Mohan Joshi) and local politician Pandey (Harish Patel) make use of Vinay's degeneration is complete when he thrashes Ketki for objecting to his misdeeds. Her upbringing, self-respect and righteousness make it difficult for her to bear this humiliation. She suffers......

Chandravati (Shabana Azmi) is the wife Vinay's elder brother Abhay Singh (Mohan Agashe). Abhay Singh masterminds the murder of the temple head and gets himself ordained as his successor. This entails renouncing the world and deserting his wife, which he cruelly does, citing her childlessness. The truth is that Chandravati has shielded her husband's impotence for seventeen years.

Kanti (Shilpa Shirodkar), a low-caste labourer is exploited by the contractor to whom her husband owed money.

Suffering comes naturally to woman here, Regardless of caste and class, their role in the family and society is predetermined and they must never cross these limits.

However, circumstances force the women in Mrityudand to break these rules and make their own.

(From the official press booklet)

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