Directed by Pradeep Sarkar
Produced by Vidhu Vinod Chopra
Screenplay by Vidhu Vinod Chopra
Pradeep Sarkar
Based on Parineeta by Sarat Chandra Chatterjee
Starring Vidya Balan
Saif Ali Khan
Sanjay Dutt
Raima Sen
Diya Mirza
Music by Shantanu Moitra
Distributed by Vinod Chopra Productions
Release date 10 June 2005
Running time 131 minutes
Country India
Language Hindi
Budget ₹25 crore (US$3.7 million)
Box office ₹62.35 crore (US$9.3 million)

Parineeta (The Married Woman) is a 2005 Indian musical romantic drama film adaptation of the 1914 Bengali novella, Parineeta by Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay. Directed by debutant Pradeep Sarkar, it was based upon a screenplay by the film's producer, Vidhu Vinod Chopra. The film featured Vidya Balan (In her Bollywood Debut), Saif Ali Khan and Sanjay Dutt in the lead roles. Raima Sen plays the supporting role of Lalita's chirpy cousin. Sabyasachi Chakrabarty plays the pivotal role of Shekhar's father. Diya Mirza, with a cameo appearance as Shekhar's fiancé and Rekha, with a cameo performance of a night club (Moulin Rouge) singer, are other notable performances.

Parineeta primarily revolves around the lead characters, Lalita and Shekhar. Since childhood, Shekhar and Lalita have been friends and slowly this friendship blossoms into love. A series of misunderstandings surface and they are separated with the conniving schemes of Shekhar's father. The plot deepens with the arrival of Girish, who supports Lalita's family. Eventually, Shekhar's love defies his father's greed and he seeks Lalita.

The film has several notable allusions to theIndian literature and cinema. Despite the pre-release inhibitions, it received critical acclaim. It won the Filmfare Awards apart from several prominent awards. The director went on to win the National Award for Best First Film. Parineeta was showcased at prominent international film festivals.


The story takes place in Kolkata. As the credits roll, scenes from erstwhile Calcuttaare displayed along with the narrator's (Amitabh Bachchan) introduction of the era. The narration focuses on the night of the marriage of Shekhar and Gayatri Tantiya, a rich industrialist's daughter. The audience is introduced to Naveen Roy as Shekhar's father while we see Shekhar grooming himself for the occasion. While he is doing so, images of Lalita calling him by his name flash through his mind. Downstairs, musical celebrations begin as Shekhar meets Vasundhara, a widow from his neighbourhood, who is thankful to her son-in-law, Girish (Sanjay Dutt), for supporting their family after the death of her husband, Gurcharan. Lalita, who is present there, playfully confronts Shekhar as to why he is being indifferent to her. Shekhar admonishes her for speaking so in spite of being married.

An angry Shekhar comes back home to play a favourite tune from the past on his piano. The flashback shows a young Shekhar playing Rabindranath Tagore’s tune on his piano while young Lalita and Koel are around. Lalita, with her parents having died in a car accident, lives with Gurcharan’s family. Koel is her cousin whereas Charu is her neighbour. As this scene flashes across Shekhar’s mind, he sings a song full of sadness and loss. As time flies, they grow up to become close friends. The rebellious and musically inclined Shekhar spends his days playing the music of Rabindranath Tagore or Elvis Presley and composing his own songs with Lalita rather than becoming part of his shrewd father's business. Part of this rebellion involves resistance to meeting Gayatri Tantiya, the beautiful but devious daughter of a wealthy industrialist, whom his father would like Shekhar to marry. Meanwhile, Girish, a steel tycoon from London, makes a dramatic entry into Charu’s house. Girish seems smitten by Lalita while Koel is by Girish. Shekhar is visibly jealous of Lolita’s close friendship with Girish.

One day, a shocked Lalita, who is employed at the Roy’s office, remembers a hotel project from Gurcharan’s ancestral haveli (palatial house). On an earlier occasion, Gurcharan had borrowed money from Naveen Roy after putting his haveli on mortgage. She understands that if the money is not repaid in a few months, Naveen Roy would take over the property. She immediately thinks of asking Shekhar for monetary help. Unforeseen circumstances prevent this, and Girish, upon realising this, alleviates their problem by making Gurcharan his business partner. Gurcharan repays the debt and the turn of events prompts Shekhar to think why Lalita chose to ask Girish for money instead of him. On one auspicious night, Shekhar and Lalita exchange garlands and consummate their "marriage" unbeknownst to anyone else.

While Shekhar is off to Darjeeling on a business trip, Naveen Roy violently thunders at Lalita about the loss of his hotel project, embarrassing and humiliating her. Roy gets a wall built between his and Gurcharan’s house symbolising the end of their association. Gurcharan, unable to digest this, suffers a heart attack. Upon Shekhar’s return, Roy informs him of the ill-health of his mother and Gurcharan and viciously adds a note of Lalita and Girish’s marriage. Shekhar is disgusted to hear of the marriage and in his anger he scowls at Lalita, humiliating her like his father. Meanwhile, Girish assists Gurcharan's family and takes them to London for the heart treatment. Misunderstandings follow and upon the family’s return from London, Shekhar assumes that Girish and Lalita are married and agrees to marry Gayatri. The film returns to the night of Shekhar’s marriage when Girish hands him the ownership papers of Gurcharan’s haveli. He shocks Shekhar by telling him that he got married to Koel because Lalita denied his marriage proposal. As a conclusion, Shekhar confronts his father and symbolically breaks down the wall separating the two families. He then brings Lalita to his home as his bride much to the delight of his mother.


Vidya Balan as Lalita.
A woman of dignity with unflinching love for Shekhar. A lovely singer, who resigned to the circumstances, upholding her respect when she faces insult.
Saif Ali Khan as Shekhar Roy.
Shows a balance of love for Lalita and jealousy towards Girish. He is a passionate musician. Towards the end has utter hatred for himself for transforming into such a cold and bitter person.
Sanjay Dutt  as Girish.
Simple and straightforward character who plays Lalita's moral support with warmth and compassion.
Raima Sen  as Koel.
Lalita's playful, mischievous and cheerful cousin who's lively, peppy and lives through every moment.
Diya Mirza  as Gayatri.
Short but a devious character who longs for Shekhar with her charm and beauty.
Sabyasachi Chakrabarty as Naveen Roy.
Cold at heart, a shrewd and a conniving businessman who even places human values and relationships below his greed for money.
Surinder Kaur  as Rajeshwari.
The mother of Shekhar who scornfully watches how badly her husband treats the neighbours and gets ill.
Tina Dutta  as Teenage Lalita.
Supriya Shukla  as Sunita.
Ninad Kamat  as Ajit.
Rekha in a special appearance in song Kaisi Paheli Zindagaani.
George Baker  as Sir William Eckhart.


The soundtrack to Parineeta was released by Tips Music in April 2005 to positive reviews.

1. Piyu Bole Sonu Nigam,Shreya Ghoshal 4:21
2. Kasto Mazza Sonu Nigam, Shreya Ghoshal 4:43
3. Soona Man Ka Aangan Sonu Nigam, Shreya Ghoshal 4:20
4. Kaisi Paheli Zindagani Sunidhi Chauhan4:03
5. Raat Hamari Toh Chitra,Swanand Kirkire 5:19
6. Dhinak Dhinak Dha Rita Ganguly 3:53
7. Hui Main Parineeta Sonu Nigam, Shreya Ghoshal 2:23


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