Kali Salwaar l Ashok Banthia, Surekha Sikri l 2002
Synopsis :- Sultana (Sadiya Siddiqui), a small town prostitute and her pimp Khudabaksh migrate to the metropolis bringing with them their dreams and meagre belongings. Initially she is bewildered by the crowds and pace of the city. With the help of Anwari (a madam or perhaps a witch) she learns how to find her bearings. As she further encounters the city and its inhabitants new perspectives open up – sad, comical, ironical but always mysterious. Sultana goes about her bright and artful seductions but somehow misses her targets. Her business collapses. Desperately, Khudabaksh too tries his hands at many jobs but is unsuccessful. His faith in his camera is replaced by his belief in a holy man. Sultana finds herself bereft and turns pensive. Her loneliness and despair get objectified in her desire for the ‘kali salwaar’ (black lower garment) that she needs to complete her black ensemble for the observance of mourning in Moharram.
One evening, as she solicits from her balcony she beckons a man. This man, Shankar (Irrfan Khan), inverts their relationship with his wit and worldly wisdom. The downtown and back streets where Sultana’s story unfolds is peopled by ‘characters’ of varying hues, styles and make-up. One of these is Mohammad Bhai the ‘Godfather’ whose story converges with Sultana’s though they never meet. Between all these people, goods, favours and money constantly change hands; and destinies are continuously transacted. From these skeins of chance meetings, seductive glances, elliptical encounters, graceful gestures and witticisms Kali Salwaar the film unfolds. Plot, colour, identities thicken and dissolve.
Director :- Fareeda Mehta
Cast :- Ashok Banthia,Vrajesh Hirjee, Rajat Kapoor, Kay Kay Menon, Irrfan Khan ,Surekha Sikri