'Pranali', film on plight of devdasis, releasing May 2

Mumbai, April 29 'Pranali - The Tradition', a movie that highlights the ills of the temple dancer custom still prevalent in some parts of the country, is releasing May 2.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008 | 2:17:30 PM IST (+05:30 GMT)
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Mumbai, April 29 (IANS) 'Pranali - The Tradition', a movie that highlights the ills of the temple dancer custom still prevalent in some parts of the country, is releasing May 2.

Harward Entertainment's maiden venture will be released simultaneously in four languages - Hindi, Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam.

Nargis of 'Garam Masala' fame plays the main lead in the film that is directed by Hridesh Kamble, the erstwhile assistant of John Mathew Mathan, Mahesh Bhatt and Vikram Bhatt.

The movie takes a stand on the stigma attached to the temple dancers (devdasis). It tries to make people aware of how low caste vulnerable village girls are forced into this in the name of religion only to be exploited by influential upper caste people.

Through a dramatic story, the movie bares the thin dividing line that exists between the temple dancer tradition and the profession of prostitution among devdasis.

According to this custom, virgin girls are married off to the presiding deities of some temples in the name of service to the god. There they become temple dancers. Far too often, the dancers are forced into prostitution.

The movie revolves round a village girl called Pranali (Nargis). Forced into being a devdasi, she fights to free herself from the shackles of the vested interests who want to perpetuate the tradition in order to serve themselves.

Though, by custom, she is not allowed to rear children, Pranali vows to bring up her illegitimate son like a normal child. How she takes up the battle against the custom and how her fight inspires other devdasis to liberate themselves is what the movie is about.

Bollywood singer Kaliash Kher makes his debut as music director with the movie and collaborates with composers Paresh and Naresh.

Dance plays a key role in 'Pranali' and well-known exponent of Kathak dance Pandit Birju Maharaj has given dancing tips to choreographer Saroj Khan for the film. He had earlier supervised a part of the choreography in Sanjay Leela Bhansali's 'Devdas'.

Upendra Limaye, Raman Trikha, Sudha Chandran, Dipshikha, Vinay Apte and others are part of the cast.

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