|Directed by||Rajkumar Santoshi|
|Produced by||Rajkumar Santoshi|
|Narrated by||Bharat Shah|
|Edited by||V. N. Mayekar|
Anu Malik (6 songs)
Ilaiyaraaja (1 song)
|Distributed by||Eros International (Worldwide)|
|Budget||₹22 crore (US$2.9 million)|
|Box office||₹28 crore (US$3.7 million)|
Lajja (transl. Shame) is a 2001 Indian Hindi-language crime drama film produced and directed by Rajkumar Santoshi. Based on the plight of women and feminism in India, the film satirizes the honor with which women are placed in society and the restrictions imposed on them. The fact that the names of four women (Maithili, Janki, Ramdulaari, and Vaidehi) are all versions of Sita, the ideal Hindu woman's name, is a message in itself.
The film features Manisha Koirala in the lead role as Vaidehi, the mistreated woman, while an ensemble cast of Rekha, Anil Kapoor, Madhuri Dixit, Ajay Devgn, Jackie Shroff, Mahima Chaudhry, Johnny Lever, Suresh Oberoi, Sharman Joshi, Danny Dengzongpa, Razak Khan, Gulshan Grover and Aarti Chhabria appear in supporting roles. The film failed commercially in India but was a major commercial success in the overseas.
At the 47th Filmfare Awards, the film was nominated for 3 awards, including Best Supporting Actor for Devgn, and Best Supporting Actress for Rekha and Dixit. The latter also received a nomination for the Zee Cine Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role – Female and eventually won it.
Vaidehi is married to the rich Raghu. Outside, she has a sophisticated life but inside, Raghu is abusive and has extramarital affairs. Later, she is banished from the household. She returns to her parent's house, but they reject her as her running away from Raghu taints their family's reputation. She soon finds out she is pregnant.
Raghu gets into a car accident and is left impotent. Upon knowing Vaidehi's pregnancy, he calls her, faking remorse, and asks for her to return. She agrees, thinking Raghu has mended his ways. In reality, he and his father plot for the baby to become their heir and if Vaidehi intervenes, she will be killed. A friend informs Vaidehi of Raghu's true intentions and she escapes from his henchmen.
Raju, a petty but kindhearted thief helps Vaidehi, hears her story and gives her money from a recent heist to help. They gatecrash a wedding. Vaidehi meets the bride Maithili, a middle-class girl marrying the groom who is rich. The two see the groom's father harassing Maithili's father with demands for an opulent wedding which he is unaffordable and forcing him to pay dowry, with his reputation in society being ruined if he fails.
Vaidehi tries to convince Raju to give Maithili's father his money from the heist. He refuses and is soon forced to escape as somebody has recognized him as a gatecrasher. Changing his mind, he returns to give his heist money to Vaidehi. The groom's friend attempts to rape Maithili but is stopped. One of the guests recognizes the heist money which Raju had stolen from him.
Moreover, the groom's friend tells the groom's family that he spotted Raju in Maithili's room. She is accused of sexual relations with him in return for money, which leads Raju to publicly acknowledge his theft. Maithili insults the groom's family, and they flee from the wedding. Raghu finds and forces Vaidehi into returning home. On the way, they encounter a protest mob. Raghu gets out to investigate thus giving Vaidehi a chance to escape.
Vaidehi arrives in a small town, Haripur and meets Janki, a theatre actress in love with her colleague. She is pregnant but not married, and doesn't care for society's norms. The older theatre director Purushottam lusts after Janki, but keeps his wife, Lata confined to their house. He badmouths Janki to her lover, creating a rift. Her lover asks her to abort the child as he suspects it isn't his, indirectly accusing Janki of sexual relations with Purushottam.
Outraged, Janki intentionally botches a scene during a performance of the Ramayan. The angered audience assaults her, causing her to miscarry. Vaidehi confronts Purshottam, who threatens to call Raghu. However, Lata intervenes and puts her on a train at the railway station. Vaidehi's train is robbed by bandits but Bhulwa, a local dacoit saves the passengers.
Vaidehi faints at the sight of blood. Bhulwa takes her to the local midwife Ramdulari who bravely opposes the village leaders Virendra and Gajendra as they exploit innocent women, young and old. Tensions escalate when Ramdulari's educated son Prakash, who tries to educate the villagers about what Virendra and Gajendra are doing, falls in love with Gajendra's daughter Sushma. Gajendra locks Ramdulaari in her house and sets out to find Prakash.
He also locks away Vaidehi in his home to be rewarded by Raghu by returning her to him. Prakash elopes with Sushma. Virendra and Gajendra rape and burn Ramdulari alive. Raged, Bhulwa and his army kill Virendra and his goons. Vaidehi escapes with Sushma and Prakash. Gajendra attempts to enter politics, so when he is applauded by the local authorities, Vaidehi intervenes and exposes him as a rapist and fraud.
She delivers a heart-wrenching speech how women are only treated as burdens to be married off by their families or ways to get dowry and male heirs by their in-laws. This drives all the women in the audience to assault Gajendra, whom Bhulwa kills. The speech changes Raghu's attitude for Vaidehi and he turns better. They return to New York City.
Vaidehi gives birth to a daughter, named Ramdulari. She reunites with Raju, who is now a taxi driver married to Maithili. Vaidehi invites him to a charity dance show with Janki in the main role, wherein all the money from her shows goes to fund women's organizations in India.
- Rekha as Ramdulari
- Madhuri Dixit as Janki
- Anil Kapoor as Raju
- Manisha Koirala as Vaidehi Chautala
- Ajay Devgn as Bhulwa
- Mahima Chaudhry as Maithili Rawat
- Jackie Shroff as Raghu Veer Chautala
- Danny Denzongpa as Gajendra Thakur
- Gulshan Grover as Virendra Thakur
- Nasirr Khan as Gullu
- Aarti Chhabria as Sushma Thakur, Gajendra's daughter
- Sharman Joshi as Prakash, Ramdulaari's son
- Beena Banerjee as Vaidehi's mother
- Suresh Oberoi as Raghuveer's father
- Johnny Lever as Fakhruddin, Raghuveer's stooge
- Razak Khan as Francis, Raghuveer's stooge
- Anjan Srivastav as Nekchand, Maithili's father
- Farida Jalal as Saroj, Maithili's mother
- Tinu Anand as Purshottam
- Jaya Bhattacharya as Lata
- Asrani as Gulab Chand
- Dina Pathak as Maithili's paternal aunt
- Govind Namdeo as Hazarilal
- Jagdeep as Bansidhar Chakkiwala (cameo)
- Ritu Shivpuri as Anita
- Rohini Hattangadi as Mrs. Hazarilal
- Viju Khote as Damodar, Brother-in-law of Hazarilal
- Ghanashyam Nayak as Tiku, Prompter at Purshottam Drama Company
- Suhas Bhalekar as member of Purshottam Drama Company
- Samir Soni as Manish
- Anupam Shyam as Pimp of Prostitute Girls
- Subrat Dutta
- Sonali Bendre as Special Appearance in song "Saajan Ke Ghar Jaana Hai"
- Urmila Matondkar as Special Appearance in song "Aaye Aajaye"
- Gopi Bhalla
The songs were mainly composed by Anu Malik. A. R. Rahman was initially signed in as the composer; but then he opted out; after he got extremely busy with his international assignment, Bombay Dreams. Then, the background score for the movie was done by Illayaraja. Lyrics of all songs were also written by Sameer, except those of "Kaun Dagar Kaun Shehar", which were written by Prasoon Joshi. This song was also composed by Illayaraja and was sung by Lata Mangeshkar. According to the Indian trade website Box Office India, with around 13,00,000 units sold, this film's soundtrack album was the year's fifteenth highest-selling.
|1.||"Aaye Aajaye Aa Hi Jaiye"||Sameer||Anu Malik||Anuradha Sriram|
|2.||"Badi Mushkil"||Sameer||Anu Malik||Alka Yagnik|
|3.||"Jiyo Jiyo"||Sameer||Anu Malik||K.K.|
|4.||"Kaliyug Ki Sita"||Sameer||Anu Malik||Anuradha Paudwal|
|5.||"Kaliyug Ki Sita" (II)||Sameer||Anu Malik||Shubha Mudgal|
|6.||"Kaun Dagar Kaun Shehar"||Prasoon Joshi||Ilaiyaraaja||Lata Mangeshkar|
|7.||"Saajan Ke Ghar Jana Hai"||Sameer||Anu Malik||Alka Yagnik, Sonu Nigam, Richa Sharma|
Awards and nominations
|2002||Filmfare Awards||Ajay Devgn||Best Supporting Actor||Nominated|
|Rekha||Best Supporting Actress||Nominated|
|Zee Cine Awards||Best Supporting Actress||Won|
Bollywood Hungama gave a rating of two and half out of five stars and said "On the whole, Lajja is a purposeful film within commercial parameters and the best part is that the Indian masses will be able to identify with the goings-on. An enviable star cast, a talented director and an excellent second half are amongst its strong points." The Hindu stated "Unfortunately, this colourful film is a black-and-white disappointment, particularly in the second half when Santoshi loses track of his story and in a blatant bid to get the tax-free certificate brings in bits about computer education, female literacy and infanticide.". The BBC gave a positive review saying "The film is well directed, excellent songs, although they should have had more realistic fights." ref>
Lajja failed commercially at the box office in India due to high budget and distribution price. However it tasted success overseas. It ranked 14th on the British box-office chart, according to the International Movie Database.
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