In the realm of cinema, stories often serve as a reflection of society’s unspoken truths, and ‘Lakeerein,’ directed by the debutant filmmaker Durgesh Pathak, takes on the arduous task of unearthing a grave issue that continues to linger in the shadows – marital rape. The film unfolds a tale of struggle and resilience, as it follows the journey of Kavya, portrayed by the talented Tia Bajpayee, who seeks justice against her husband, Vivek Damodar Agnihotri, played by Gaurav Chopra. This story delves into the complexities of a flawed legal system, raising questions about whether Kavya will succeed in her quest for justice or become another victim of societal misconceptions.
Marital rape, a sensitive and often underreported issue, has long been shrouded in stigma, largely due to misconceptions about consent within the confines of marriage. ‘Lakeerein’ courageously takes on this subject, shedding light on the injustice and misery that many married women silently endure behind closed doors. The narrative is set in the heart of Lucknow, offering viewers a glimpse into Kavya’s transformation from a vulnerable victim to a strong woman determined to seek justice. She is supported in her fight by the tenacious counsel Geeta Biswas, portrayed by Bidita Bag, and pitted against the egomaniacal Dudhari Singh, played convincingly by Ashutosh Rana, who stands as a staunch defender of her husband, Vivek.
While ‘Lakeerein’ undoubtedly carries the right intentions and delivers a thought-provoking message, the execution falls short in some aspects. The film’s 123-minute runtime makes a sincere effort to capture the horrors of marital rape and presents various cases of such atrocities faced by women. However, the inclusion of numerous similar cases in the storyline often makes it feel chaotic. It’s crucial to strike a balance between highlighting the issue and maintaining a coherent narrative, especially when dealing with such sensitive subjects.
The courtroom scenes in the film are engaging at times, but the arguments presented could have been stronger to keep the audience more captivated. Additionally, the excessive use of “shudh Hindi” in conversations may prove challenging for some viewers to understand, potentially hindering effective storytelling and conveying the important message the film seeks to convey.
Despite these shortcomings, the performances in ‘Lakeerein’ are credible and praiseworthy. Tia Bajpayee’s portrayal of Kavya is delicate and powerful, effectively becoming the voice of countless women in similar situations. Gaurav Chopra skillfully makes the audience loathe his character, eliciting strong emotions. Bidita Bag and Ashutosh Rana’s performances as lawyers are well-received, adding depth to the film’s legal aspects.
In conclusion, ‘Lakeerein’ addresses a significant and often overlooked issue in society, shedding light on the harsh reality of marital rape. However, the film could have benefited from a more focused and cohesive execution. Nevertheless, it succeeds in provoking thought and discussion about the difficult realities that many married women silently face. ‘Lakeerein’ serves as a reminder that some stories need to be told, no matter how uncomfortable, in order to pave the way for change and justice.