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Review by Amanda Del Buono
The World Before Her, directed by Nisha Pahuja, shows the dichotomy of Hindu culture in India through the stories of two camps for two young women, Ruhi and Prachi. One camp is run by the Durgha Vahini, the women’s wing of the militant fundamentalist movement, and the other is a month-long beauty camp in preparation for the Miss India beauty pageant.
Ruhi and Prachi both try to, in their own way, benefit their country India. The two both fight their own battles: Ruhi has the support of her family to be an independent woman and become whoever she wants, but she has to face the opposition from society. Prachi, on the other hand, was stuck in the dilemma of wanting to advance traditional Hindu values and figuring out her own identity. She says that she was not made to marry and must fight her father about this.
Ruhi wants to see India modernize and communicate and maintain peace with other countries, while Prachi wants an India that’s back to its traditions and will fight — even through violence when it’s necessary — to see India and Hinduism back at its roots.
The film reached all emotions in its hour-and-a-half running times; it’s easy to laugh and cry along side the subjects. Reflecting on the differences in the society of these woman and one’s own societal values can be heart wrenching. Cinematography and score only worked to enhance the impact of this brilliant film.
VOX rating: VVVV
THE RATING SYSTEM
VVVVV = AWESOME! SEE IT TWICE
VVVV = DEFINITELY GO SEE IT
VVV = HMM… IT’S OKAY
VV = EH… DVD MAYBE?
V = DON’T BOTHER
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