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Ammu A Hardhitting Film On Domestic Violence




Ammu(Telugu, Amazon Prime)

Written  and Directed  by  Charukesh Sekar

Rating: ****

Debutant  director  Charukesh Sekar’s film is  not to be taken  lightly. It deep-dives into the disease  of  domestic violence, and  comes up with disturbing images of a dark  unspoken tragedy which  is  sadly the truth behind many  seemingly  peaceful marriages.

Ammu rips open the happy-home  façade  , to expose the  ugly truth  within.  A reviewer writing on the  film grumbles  about  the husband Ravi(brilliantly played by  Naveen Chandra) taking too long to  expose his true colours. Let us  disabuse   the  misconceptions  on  abuse. Domestic violence emerges with time only.  The  film with cohesive  acumen, lays bare  Ravi’s  fangs  as Ammu  settles into domesticity.

 Without  beating around the  bush  let’s say it here and now. Aishwarya Lekshmi  is  a  coiled-up powerhouse  in this  hardhitting ,in more than one, film about abuse  and its aftermath. Lekshmi  wraps her  persona  around her character, owning  both  its pain and  guilt,  creating a space  for the  suffering wife  that allows her to manoeuvre her  way  through the  marital morass.

In the later part  of  the narrative  the  film turns  into a  marital  revenge  drama, a Sleeping With The Enemy meets  Darlings , and not in a very smooth way. Bobby Simha  as a  parolee  who strikes a rapport with  Ammu, is the odd one out. He  just doesn’t fit into the scheme  of things . The entire  parolee  subplot is at odds with the context , plot and  mood of  the rest  of the  film. If we  can  move beyond this  swing-shift in the narration, Ammu hits home and lands on its feet.

 The  film is  shot beautifully with Apoorva Shaligram’s  cinematography  delving into  the  dark side of  domesticity . The scenes  of violence are not excessively gruesome. What the  film focuses  on is Ammu’s paranoia : she never knows when the next  blow, would come  and why. The  bond of empathy that  Ammu  forms with  the women around her could  have been  explored  a  little  more closely.

What remains  with us  is  a film that wants us to  empathize  with  Ammu’s pain but not with  her guilt. Her journey  from an abused wife to an avenging angel may not be  smooth.  But the jagged edges  in the  narration only adds to the  feeling of  a  drama being played out in  real  life.

Must not be missed.

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