Review Marathi

My Mother's Girlfriend review: Understated short about togetherness and acceptance

Release Date: 2021


Cinestaan Rating

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Sukhpreet Kahlon

Arun Fulara’s film examines the agency and desire of middle-aged women.

The Marathi- and Hindi-language short film My Mother's Girlfriend takes us into the desires of a middle-aged woman who chooses to live life on her own terms.

Renuka (Sushma Deshpande) and Sadiya (Anju Alva Naik) are two middle-aged working women in love with each other. Renuka makes plans for them to celebrate her birthday together on the beach, eating all the treats that she desires. Renuka’s son Mangesh, a cab driver, wants to make plans for her birthday with his family, but Renuka feigns being busy that day. However, when he finds out the real reason why his mother wanted to spend her special day without him, their relationships collide.

Written and directed by Arun Fulara, My Mother's Girlfriend explores two relationships through the event of Renuka’s birthday as being the moment when Mangesh realizes the truth about his mother’s sexuality. It offers us a glimpse into the relationship between the two women, with the fun-loving Renuka coaxing Sadiya to take a day off to celebrate her special day, while later exploring the mother-son relationship as Mangesh confronts Renuka.

My Mother's Girlfriend is a tender, understated film that delves into the lives of people largely forgotten in cinema. What makes the simple story stand out is the milieu in which it is set. Portraying a homosexual relationship between middle-aged women belonging to different faiths and hailing from lower-middle-class families, Fulara takes us into their everyday concerns and desires.

As a mother and wife, Renuka has clearly fulfilled her duties and wishes to now live life on her own terms, unapologetically. Deshpande’s endearing performance brings out the mischief, love and emotions of her character beautifully as we are drawn into her world. As a foil to her character, Sadiya is a bit hesitant, shy and takes her lead from her more fun-loving partner.

Fulara made his debut with the short film Sunday (2020) and his script for My Mother's Girlfriend won the Kashish QDrishti Film Grant, which gives a filmmaker Rs2,00,000 to make a film on LGBTQ+ themes. The film was screened as part of the ongoing 12th edition of the Kashish Mumbai International Queer Film Festival.

 

Related topics

Kashish Mumbai International Queer Film Festival

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