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Review Malayalam

Cinestaan Curates: Discovering a room of one’s own in Women’s Day

Release Date: 06 Mar 2021 / 16min

Cinestaan Rating

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Sukhpreet Kahlon

Written and directed by Tom J Mangatt, the film was released around Women’s Day

The beginning of the Malayalam-language short Women’s Day is pretty much an ordinary day in the life of a homemaker, who wakes up in the morning to make her husband a cup of his morning brew. However, this time is a little different. The woman awakes with a start but lies back down, as the urgency of scampering around to take care of her husband’s needs no longer exists.

Sumitra (Nina Kurup) has gone to her ancestral home with the aim of selling it. Her husband Alex (NE Sudheer) is to come and pick her up later that evening. However, the lockdown is announced and the couple find themselves stranded in different places. As the days go by, being alone starts to mean different things to each and Sumitra is metamorphosed by the experience.

Written and directed by Tom J Mangatt, the film was released around Women’s Day this year, so the theme of empowerment is obvious, but the power of this short film lies in its humour and the fact that it is rooted in the everyday reality of couples navigating the lockdown.

Free of her husband’s complaining and largely irritable presence, Sumitra says, “I have never been this relaxed after marriage.” She reunites with an old friend and realizes that there is an entire world of experience that has been shut off to her because of her nagging, complaining curmudgeon of a husband, who shoots down anything away from the trodden path. The film also looks at sisterhood and the desires of a woman who is past her prime, all of which are brought into sharp relief during the lockdown.

The performances of Kurup and Sudheer bring the dynamic between the couple alive. We feel elation at Sumitra wearing Western clothes and dancing, just as we get a bit of sadistic fun when we see Alex’s plight as he bumbles around in the kitchen, lamenting about what to do with dosa batter as he cannot pour it directly in his mouth!

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