Film Review: Indie Favourite 1000 Rupee Note

Like an adult fable, 1000 Rupee Note shows that money doesn’t equal happiness.

1000 Rupee Note Indian Film Review

Usha Naik as Budhi

1000 Rupee Note has Budhi (played by Usha Naik) at it’s forefront – a poor widow who who lives alone in a tiny mud house in a rural village in India. Despite the losses she’s endured, Budhi is a happy woman. She finds happiness in seemingly small things – getting a match to light, finding a thrifty way to fix her broken shoe, and especially the company of her neighbour, Sudama.

Flashbacks to her past reveal that Budhi wasn’t always this way. Years ago, her son committed suicide, leaving Budhi stripped of all motivation and happiness. We don’t get to see how she got to where she is today, but somehow she overcame her sadness.

1000 Rupee Note Indian Film Review

Usha Naik (playing Budhi) and Sandeep Pathak (playing Sudama)

Her motivation to attend a local election meeting is simply to get a meal and get out of the house. After finding out that Budhi’s son was a farmer who committed suicide, the politician bribes Budhi with 1000 rupee notes to get her to vote for him. The money changes Budhi’s fortune in more ways than one.

Her neighbours start treating her differently and Budhi is pressed to spend the money. She travels to a village market to fix some odds and ends, and to her dismay, her new fortune doesn’t take her very far – nobody in this small town can accommodate such a big bill. What’s worse, a poor old woman with four 1000 rupee notes calls unwanted attention from the police, leaving Budhi and Sudama in hot water.

It’s no surprise that 1000 Rupee Note and it’s lead actor Usha Naik have won so many jury awards at film festivals and ceremonies across India.

The strength that took Budhi so many years to build is tested but not broken, as she learns that money isn’t the answer to her problems – a realization that is both harsh, and comforting.

Lookout for 1000 Rupee Note at a theatre near you – or pre-order the film online on iTunes.