Sara’S Malayalam Review: It Is A Sweet But Bland Ode To Feminism
Sara’S Review: Sara Vincent(Anna Ben) is an assistant filmmaker hoping to make her own independent film. She thinks marriage and motherhood would kill her career prospects.
Why????!!!! Aparna Sen made marvellous movies and brought up a daughter who went on to become an accomplished actress-director just like her mother. Farah Khan directs films and looks after her triplets. So why not Sara Vincent?
There are many such questions that bothered me about Sara who comes across as excessively defensive and unnecessarily belligerent. As I watched her trapeze through a landmine laid down to ensnare men in their chauvinism, toxic or otherwise, I found the tone of the narration excessively sanctimonious and , worse, preachy.
Sara hates children. So we see her at the residence of a female doctor(Dhanya Varma) who helps her get her forensic facts right in the crime thriller that she’s writing. Very conveniently the doctor’s brother Jeevan(Sunny Wayne) has moved in . He too rolls his eyes about his sister’s children who admittedly are quite a handful.How do we know? The director sets up the children as brats.
Ironically Anna appears to be a bit of brat herself. No wonder Jeevan and she hit it off instantly. A song or two follows and Jeevan proposes marriage. Sara agrees. But conditions apply. Baby,no baby.
So passion without procreation it is. But to no one’s surprise Sara gets pregnant. “Faulty precaution,” Jeevan informs us in case we are wondering how this unscheduled pregnancy happened. Luckily there is no close up of a leaky condom. Thereafter she sulks. He sulks. He stops making breakfast for her(it was part of their marital agreement that he make breakfast every morning…is this gender equality?). She stops having breakfast with him.
Song about Man,Woman and Childishness plays in the background while the families of the couple seethe sulk and play the nosy busybodies.One of Jeevan’s female relatives shouts, “This is not a ladies’ problem. It is feminism.”
The films gets progressively over-burdened with self-importance. By the time the resident gynecologist(Siddiqui) sits down Sara and Jeevan to tutor them on the value of good parenting(after just having lectured a woman who is pregnant a fourth time on the virtues of saying no) I was counting the number of ways in which this well-meaning but unsubtle film spoonfeeds the audience on the pitfalls of working-women embracing motherhood.
There is a retired actress, apparently famous in her time, whom Sara visits to sign for her directorial debut. Her husband patronizes the retired actress by talking of giving her “permission” to work again.
“Bloody permission- giver,” Sara mutters under her breath in case we miss the point. We don’t.We can’t. The film never lets us miss the point.It wraps itself around our heads like a bratty kid who insists on singing the same song over and over again in our ears.