OTTRegional Cinema

Sara’S Malayalam Review: It Is A Sweet But  Bland  Ode To Feminism

Sara’S Malayalam Review: It Is A Sweet But  Bland  Ode To Feminism

RUNNING TIME
118 mins
RELEASE DATE
2021-07-05

Where to watch: (Malayalam, Amazon Prime)

Director

Jude Anthany Joseph

Writers

Akshay Hareesh,Manu Manjith,Joe Paul

Cast

Anna Ben,Sunny Wayne,Mallika Sukumaran

Plot

A cheerful and fun-loving Sara working towards her dream of becoming a filmmaker meets Jeevan with whom she relates on various of her choices, especially the choice of not having a child. The movie is a light-hearted take on how society and family pressurize young couples in matters concerning relationships, marriage and pregnancy.

Rating: ** ½

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.”

 Okay then.Gotcha.

 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.

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