It's hard to exaggerate the craziness of Phoolan Devi's life. The closest analogy would be the trajectory of Daenerys Targaryen in "Game of Thrones." Both are child brides sold to husbands they don't know, who then rise to leadership roles on the strength of their iron wills and wily smarts.
But there are some crucial differences: the first being that Devi's story is true. Second: The Bandit Queen, as Devi is also known, didn't start life as a princess. She was an impoverished, illiterate girl of 11 in Uttar Pradesh, India, when she was ripped from her mother's arms to marry a rapist more than 20 years her senior. Devi went on to endure unimaginable horrors until she was kidnapped by bandits.
Her kidnapping actually turned out to be a rare stroke of luck and the young woman took full advantage of it, eventually earning her place as the leader of the gang. Devi's legend spread across the subcontinent and at the height of her power in the 1990s, she was so famous that little girls in India treasured their "Devi Dolls."
"Bandit Queen," the movie version of Phoolan Devi's life starred Seema Biswas and was directed by Shekhar Kapur. Released in 1995, it was a critical and commercial hit. A stunning, ferociously realistic film, it's not for the faint of heart [source: Ebert].