This is a remarkable movie. "The Bandit Queen" is a powerful and repugnant portrayal of a modern real-life Indian outlaw, Phoolan Devi ("Goddess of Flowers"). The movie opens at the point at which the 11 year-old Phool...展开an is sold as a bride to a middle-aged man. The marital rape and abuse that follows drives her away and eventually, as an outcast, into a life of brigandage.
What I found most striking in this movie is that it does not portray the heroine merely as a "wronged woman" but as a woman with deep psychological problems -- to me she frequently appeared to be downright psychotic. There are several scenes of unbridled, I might say X-rated, violence in which Phoolan is seen to gradually wind up from anger to viciousness. In one of these scenes she beats her former husband with a rifle butt. It was -- and I think it was meant to be -- sickening.
"The Bandit Queen" was very controversial in India. It was widely thought to be Oscar material, though apparently did not make the list due to political infighting within the Indian movie-making community. It's well worth the viewing. But I only recommend it for people with strong stomachs. It's a true story (the real-life Phoolan Devi went on to marry above her caste and became the first Untouchable to serve in the Indian Parliament) but it's a story without a happy ending.