Split Wide Open (1999)


Split Wide Open (1999)

The film pits the new India of mobile phones, fancy cars and a growing middle class against the better known India of impoverished and exploited street urchins and caste structures. "Split Wide Open" refers to an American style talk show in which people, in darkness, confess to their secret sexual lives.
IMDb  6.5 /10
Director Dev Benegal
Writer Dev Benegal
Release Date2001-07-25
Runtime1h 43mins
GenreCrime, Drama
Content RatingUnrated (Unrated)
Awards2 wins & 3 nominations.
CompanyAdlabs Films, BMG-Crescendo, Tropicfilm
LanguageEnglish, Hindi
KP / Kut Price
Farida Haider Mulla
Farida Haider Mulla
Shiv Paul
Shiv Paul
Kiran Nagarkar
Kiran Nagarkar
Brother Bono
Arti Gosavi
Arti Gosavi
Altaf (as Veerendra Saxena)
Anjula Bedi
Anjula Bedi
Mrs. G (show "I can't get no satisfaction")
Amit Divekar
Amit Divekar
The Son-in-Law (show 'I can't get no satisfaction')
Sopan Dorkar
Sopan Dorkar
Peon (show 'I can't get no satisfaction')
Aadya Bedi
Aadya Bedi
Virgin 1 (show 'The Virgins')
Neha Dubey
Neha Dubey
Virgin 2 (show "The Virgins")

Split Wide Open

Split Wide Open is a 1999 Indian film directed by Dev Benegal. It is his second feature film after English, August (1994). The film primarily deals with the Water conflicts in the slums of Bombay, and paedophilia, and also looks at the subversive sexuality in modern India and how the notions of morality are challenged when sex and poverty collide. The film came under harsh criticism when released in India and has been one of the most controversial Indian films.

Cast and characters

  • Rahul Bose as KP (Kut-Price)
  • Laila Rouass as Nandita
  • Abhimanyu Sharma as Shiv
  • Farida Haider Mulla as Didi
  • Kiran Nagarkar as Brother Bono
  • Rajika Puri as Auntie
  • Ayesha Dharkar as Leela
  • Virendra Saxena as Altaf
  • Aadya Bedi

Awards and recognition

  • The official selection at the 1999 Venice Film Festival.
  • Awarded a Special Jury Award to the film and the Best Actor award (Rahul Bose) at the 2000 Singapore International Film Festival.
  • Won the Grand Prix at the 2000 Belgium International Film Festival.
  • Nominated for the Grand Prix at the 2000 Bratislava International Film Festival.


The original soundtrack of the film consists of 5 instrumental tracks composed by Nitin Sawhney.

  • "Welcome to Bombay" – 5:15
  • "Yo KP!" (Trailer Theme) – 2:16
  • "For Didi" – 1:39
  • "Television Sting" – 1:15
  • "A Golden Tap" (End Titles) – 4:19

The soundtrack also features:

  • "You Are The Reason" by Australian soft rock band Air Supply & Indian singer Mehnaz Hoosein
  • "Dooba Dooba" by Indian band Silk Route

The film also credits Massive Attack, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Bob Dylan, Mark Knopfler, Pink Floyd, Krome Assassins, Touch and Go, Purvi Parikh, the Dagar Brothers and Kishori Amonkar for their music used in the production of the film.


Poster Art & Design and Title Images by Artist Jaideep Mehrotra

External links

  • Film Overview
  • Features
  • Split Wide Open at IMDb
  • Split Wide Open at AllMovie
  • NY Times Review
  • Review at Variety.com