Provoked (check it out in English) is the tale of a woman, unable to bear the brutality and repeated rapes by her allegedly abusive and alcoholic husband.
This battered Punjabi housewife and mother of two, Kiranjit Ahluwalia (Aishwarya Rai) then sets fire to her abusive husband, Deepak Ahluwalia (Naveen Andrews) and kills him unintentionally.
Her case comes to the notice of a group of South Asian social worker running an under-funded organisation called the Southall Black Sisters.
Charged with murder, she is sentenced to life imprisonment where she befriends her cellmate, a white woman named Veronica Scott (Miranda Richardson), who teaches her English. Her cell mate is friends with several girls in the prison and stands up for Kiranjit against the local prison bully.
One day when Kiranjit stands up against the bully for herself, Veronica realises what a good person Kiranjit is and decides that her her step-brother, Edward Foster (Robbie Coltrane), a highly respected Queen’s Counsel, could help her in her appeal for free.
The two siblings had a on-off relationship and since Veronica would not let Edward help in her case, he realises that Kiranjit must be special. Before the hearing for the appeal the Southall Black Sisters bring her plight to the attention of the media by organising rallies to gather public support for her freedom.
She is ultimately freed by the judicial system in a landmark case called “Regina vs. Ahluwalia”, that redefined the word PROVOCATION in the case of a battered woman. (She was reconvicted from murder to manslaughter the judge took in to account the 3 years and 4 months served already and made that her sentence).
She is reunited with her children and subsequently given an award by the Prime Minister’s wife for her crusade against domestic violence. (The award is not shown on the film although it is accredited at the end).