Anu (1998)

Genres - Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Feminist Film  |   Run Time - 150 min.  |   Countries - India   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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In this psychological drama about love in times of strife, school girl Anu falls in love with political activist Sugato at the height of political tension in the state of Bengal. The day Sugato is arrested, Anu is gang raped by policemen as a punishment for her relationship with Sugato. After eight years, Sugato is released from jail, and Anu, who now is a teacher, welcomes him to her home as her husband. But he is not the man he used to be. He has lost faith in politics, and he is unable to resume his relationship with Anu when he finds out that she was gang raped. Anu is deeply hurt to realize that the man she worshipped for his high ideals about equality of women is no different than the rest. In a parallel subplot, one of the students of Anu is seduced by a rich boy and commits suicide. The first feature by Bengali lyricist, producer and actress Satarupa Sanyal, Anu begins with an interesting premise but soon is taken over by the cliches of Indian mainstream melodrama such as gang rape, unwanted pregnancy, and abortion. Some of the flashbacks are skillfully interconnected with the story, but the prosaic plot and the theatrical acting are major drawbacks.