Gulabi Talkies (2009)

Genres - Drama  |   Run Time - 123 min.  |   Countries - India  |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Synopsis by Mark Deming

Women in an Indian village discover the love of a good story crosses many boundaries in this drama from Girish Kasaravalli. It's 1999 in a coastal town near Kundapura, and Gulabi (Umashree), the local midwife, has had a hard life -- she's one of the only Muslims in a primarily Hindu community, and her husband Musa (K.G. Krishna Murthy) has left her to take another wife. Gulabi loves nothing more than a good movie, and she's hesitant to leave a picture midway through when she's summoned to help a local woman give birth. Gulabi grudgingly assists with the delivery, and the grateful family presents her lavish gift -- a color television, the first in the village, and a satellite dish to go with it. Given her faith and her marital troubles, Gulabi is something of an outcast in town, but when word gets around about her television, a handful of women from the neighborhood begin stopping to watch soap operas with her (though some are content to just peek though the windows at her new set). One of Gulabi's new friends is Netru (M.D. Pallavi), who has husband troubles of her own, and the two women bond over their shared troubled and love of the daily serials. But with India and Pakistan at war, tensions between Muslims and Hindus reach a new high, and when Netru disappears, many accuse Gulabi of foul play.