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The director tells the poignant tale of a sex worker's revolt against exploiters.

india Updated: Feb 15, 2006 14:21 IST

Cast: Anuj Sawhney, Sushmita Sen
Director: Kalpana Lajmi
Release date: February 17*

Storyline: Filmmaker Kalpana Lajmi, known for making women-oriented films, has now come up with the poignant tale of a prostitute.

Chingaari, based on a short story by veteran Assamese singer and music director Bhupen Hazarika, revolves around three characters - a young postman, a sex worker and a village priest.

The young postman, Chandan Mishra played by Anuj Sawhney, is a crusader of sorts while Sushmita plays Basanti, the sex worker. The turning point in Basanti's life comes when she gains the respect of Chandan. But she is not allowed to even dream of a relationship with him.

Mithun Chakraborty plays Bhuvan Panda, the village priest who secretly lusts for Basanti. But Basanti revolts and the film's title Chingaari is drawn from this spark of revolt.

The climax of the film sees the exploited Basanti rising like a goddess and unleashing a fury to crush the exploiters and their dual standards.

Armed with a trident, she embodies the fury of the gods and rips open the façade of those who preach spirituality but practice vice.

Masala maar ke...

Lajmifirst offered the powerful role to Bipasha Basu, Raveena Tandon and Preity Zinta. When they turned it down, she approached Sushmita.
The male lead was also offered to several top-notch actors like Akshay Kumar, Akshaye Khanna and Tusshar Kapoor. But none were willing to don the greasepaint for the soft, romantic character. So Kalpana settled for the lesser-known Anuj.
A slight rift was created between the director and the actress by leaks about a kissing scene. But the storm blew over as Lajmi sorted things out with Sushmita.

*Release dates are subject to change.

First Published: Feb 15, 2006 14:20 IST