Boman Irani must be a pleased man as the campaign against domestic violence with which he was associated is now finding culmination in a full-length feature film that too made by one of the progressive film makers of the time Deepa Mehta, though the context may be a foreign locale as she has chosen for VIDESH. It indeed is a harsh reality in the Indian context where perpetration of domestic violence, more so in the Indian families having strong male dominance, or the families of the sub-continent continues to manifest and fester in one for or the other.
VIDESH which has already won two awards, one for the Best Screen Play and second to Preity Zinta, the Silver Hugo trophy for Best Actress dwells on a subject that is as fresh contextually in the present times as it was 100 years ago. The term VIDESH is indeed a term which is synonymous with the state of mind for a girl who is at the threshold of womanhood through marriage and is going into an alien land, the process of adjustment in most of the cases is a soul tormenting one. Therefore a home for a girl where she has been married off is indeed a VIDESH, an alien home. Raj Mundra had dealt with this theme through his film PROVOKED where he had chosen Aishwarya Rai Bachchan as the victim.
As a matter of fact, the topic of domestic violence has been a subject that has been at the heart of Hindi film making from the time when cinema started unleashing its magic. Two of the most visual symbols of domestic violence in the Hindi cinema have been Lalita Pawar and she was later replaced by Shashi Kala and Bindu also flirted with this genre for some time.
For Preity Zinta it indeed is a long journey that she has traveled in her career from being a spunky girl asking a question to Shah Rukh Khan whether he was a virgin in DIL SE, to being gutsy enough to be an unwedded mother in KYA KEHNA, to being a victim of domestic violence in VIDESH she has gone full circle.
For the female actors of her genre who have had a rather successful commercial sojourn, it indeed is a dilemma how to strike a balance between the lack of options from the commercial mainstream to doing ''meaningful'' cinema where the roles that they get could have a traditional underpinning. Preity Zienta is also going through the same phase, and may be VIDESH could be the platform to initiate a new innings in her career.