In the time and background where women had to live their lives according to the wishes of other people, here is a tale where a woman makes a choice between her husband and someone who gives her everything she has ever wanted. A story packaged in culture and roots, but way ahead of its time, Paheki is a folk tale – supernatural love story about a ghost who falls in love with a newlywed woman.
Paheli is a Bollywood fantasy film, which was released in India on 24 June 2005. It is a remake of the 1973 Hindi movie Duvidha. It was directed by Amol Palekar and produced by Juhi Chawla, Aziz Mirza, Sanjiv Chawla and Shah Rukh Khan, who also plays the male lead.
Paheli is based on the short story written by Vijayadan Detha in Rajasthani language and tells the story of a wife (Rani Mukerji) who is left by her husband (Shah Rukh Khan) and visited by a ghost, disguised as her husband, who is in love with her and takes her husband’s place. Sunil Shetty, Juhi Chawla, Rajpal Yadav and Amitabh Bachchan have supporting roles in the film.
Shah Rukh Khan mesmerizes with his dual performance as the husband and the ghost. Even as a ghost he proves us, why he is called the king of romance.
The movie did not go as well as SRK expected but today as we revisit this folk lore, we realise the importance of its message of women empowerment and its value in today’s world.
The movie opened the ninth Zimbabwe International Film Festival at the Libertie Cinema Complex in Harare. It was also screened at both the Sundance Film Festival and the Palm Springs International Film Festival.