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Godmother

Godmother
Released on: 3 September 1999
Cast: Shabana Azmi, Milind Gunaji, Nirmal Pandey
Directed by: Vinay Shukla
Produced by: Rajat Sengupta
Distributed by: Yash Raj Films in UK & USA/Canada
Music: Vishal Bharadwaj
Lyrics: Javed Akhtar

This is the story of one extraordinary woman 'Rambhi'. When drought strikes her beloved village, it is Rambhi who urges her husband 'Veeram' to seek greener pastures in a nearby town. But their life changes forever, when Veeram kills the goonda 'Gigan' who is an arch enemy of the 'Mer' community to which Rambhi and Veeram belong. Overnight, Veeram becomes a hero of the community.

'Kesubhai', the politician is quick to take the advantage of the situation. Veeram soon becomes a mafia don and eventually a puppet in the hands of the wily-man Kesubhai. By now Rambhi has given birth to a son - 'Karsan'.

When Veeram unwittingly discovers that he has murdered an innocent man at Kesubhai's behest, he is shattered and wants to kill himself. But Rambhi persuades her husband to take a vow of non-violence before Godivess Kandhli.

Ironically, soon after Veeram takes the oath, he meets a violent end in the hand of 'Fogo' Kesubhai's man. Rambhi's world comes to an end. She would probably have died had 'Meru', Veeram's brother, not taken a vow to avenge the killing of Veerum. The call for revenge gives birth to a new Rambhi, who is bold aggressive and even cunning. She takes over the reigns of her husband's gang and even engineers Fogo's death.

Hawk-eyed Kesubhai immediately realises that the vacuum caused by Veeram's death can be filled by Rambhi. He thinks he can use her as a pawn in order to get immense political mileage, that is by getting her elected as the President of the Taluka Panchayat. Meru too is a part of this plan. But they have underestimated Rambhi. Though she seeks through Kesubhai's machinations (lustful designs), and decides to lead him on to her advantage. Rambhi uses her new found power to improve the wretched condition of her people. But even while she's doing good work, she has no qualms in eliminating all hose who dared oppose her. Her power is such that, when her brother-in-law Meru threatens her position, she cunningly manipulates Kesubhai into sending him away.

And then Rambhi is elected to the Vidhan Sabha. Now she needs nobody, not even Kesubhai. Kesubhai is livid with anger and vows revenge.

Meanwhile Rambhi's son Karsan has grown into a handsome man. He's in love with the beautiful 'Sejal' and tries his best to woo her. When she ignores his overtures, Karsan seeks his mother's help. He even promises to mend his brash ways once Sejal becomes his bride. Rambhi believes him and summons the girl's father. They arrange the marriage little realising that Sejal does not love Karsan but is in love with 'Asad', the collectors son. The news devastates Sejal and she decides to confide in Rambhi who has the reputation of being a just person.

Sejal summons up her courage and tearfully admits to Ramble that she loves Asad, not Karsan. Rambhi is shocked, but being a woman she understands Sejal's dilemma. Rambhi takes a difficult, but just decision and tells her son to forget Sejal.

But headstrong Karsan is Rambhi's son after all. He refuses to heed his mother's advise and attacks Asad. Asad is critically wounded and a warrant is issued for Karsan's arrest. A furious Rambhi confronts her son and asks him why he attacked Asad. Karsan replies cockily that he has learnt from her 'GET WHAT YOU WANT, ANYWAY YOU WANT!'. Karsan's reply comes as a major blow to Rambhi. She now realises that it is her power games that have led Karsan astray. The wily Keshubhai takes this opportunity to strike back at Rambhi. He manipulates the entire episode and gives a communal overtone, as Asad is from minority community. He also summons Meru back and sets him against his sister-in-law. There is a chaos in the town - there are protest marches and incidents of violence against Rambhi, all because Karsan has not surrendered to the police. Sejal's father too, incited by the Mer community is ready to take the path of bloodshed. Petrified Sejal seeks Rambhi's help. Rambhi then in one end advises her son to mend his ways for her sake and build a good future for him and, on the other end marries Sejal to Asad sacrificing herson's wishes for the girl. In the process she tries to make insular Mer community rise above petty parochialism by sacrificing herown life. Rambhi's martyrdom spells doom for the wicked Keshubhai and his accomplices.

This was the plot of the movie. Mentioned below are all who contributed towards the making of "Godmother", right from the storywriter, the director to the production co-ordinator, the costume designer and the star cast in the movie, weaving it together to create an experience for all the viewers.

 
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