Vanaja (2006)

Vanaja is fifteen, beautiful and far too impulsive for her own good. In a seaside village in India's Andhra Pradesh state, trouble will find a girl like this and Vanaja meets trouble halfway. Ambitious to a fault, Vanaja talks her way… More

Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Release Date: October 20, 2006
DVD Release Date: March 28, 2008
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Critic Score: 85% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
David Wiegand
San Francisco Chronicle

Bhukya delivers an entrancing and natural performance, deftly balancing both the wide-eyed childishness of a young girl with the dawning awareness of life's darker possibilities.

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Wesley Morris
Boston Globe

It's not easy to make a very sad movie that doesn't make you want to jump out a window when it's over. Vanaja pulls this off.

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Chris Kaltenbach
Baltimore Sun

A wondrous piece of filmmaking and a sensitive, engaging movie from a first-time filmmaker working on a shoestring budget with a cast of nonactors.

Tom Keogh
Seattle Times

Vanaja is a timeless story of dignity maintained against all odds.

Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times

Vanaja, a beautiful and heart-touching film from India, represents a miracle of casting. Every role, including the challenging central role of a low-caste 14-year-old girl, is cast perfectly and played flawlessly.

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Prairie Miller

There's loads of atmosphere and charm to this tale, but little that seems compelling or heartfelt to the drama, which in contrast feels sketchy and contrived, without a clear sense of character beyond conceptualized stick figures.

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John Monaghan
Detroit Free Press

This is heart-wrenching Indian drama in the vein of Deepa Mehta's recent Water, again dealing with a young girl trying to find her self-worth in the midst of a repressive caste system and physical abuse.

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Andrea Gronvall
Chicago Reader

Rajnesh Domalpalli made this poignant 2006 drama as his thesis film for a master's degree at Columbia University, yet its technique and development of character and theme are far more accomplished than those of most student films.

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Louis Proyect

Stunning portrait of caste oppression in South India, as well as the struggle of a young woman from the lower caste's to elevate herself through dance.

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More reviews for Vanaja

Flixster Audience Score: 84% Flixster User Reviews
Cynthia S.
Many Bollywood films are obsessed with material dreams, often depicting how a lower caste/class girl can find romance and fortune within the security of the… More
Leo L
A heartrending story plot that centralizes on a young fifteen year old girl who dreams of becoming a dancer someday. In order to provide, and pay her… More