Sara's Malayalam Movie
In Jude Anthany Joseph's new film entitled Sara's, Anna Ben's titular character is faced with a dilemma at a critical point in her life. A wannabe filmmaker, Sara does not want to have kids. It is not that she despises kids, but she does not want to deal with them and her career at the same time. In Sunny Wayne's Jeevan, Sara finds just the right kind of partner, who feels the same as she does about kids. But as the couple's relationship develops, and new members come into their world, Sara finds it tricky to choose between her career and family. A career in cinema and the responsibilities that accompany motherhood can be quite taxing on any woman. Sara's deals with this sensitive matter.
The movie could easily have been named Sara and Family or something likewise, but the use of the apostrophe is not a linguistic or stylistic choice. Rather, it represents the purpose of showing that the film is ultimately about Sara and her choice. In many ways, Sara's is a progressive film, which hardly judges the protagonist in it. Malayalam filmmakers tend to make stories such as this melodramatic, and conclude it with a happy ending that tries to fit in with most people's tastes and sensibilities. Sara's is a film that tries to break away from that conventional template.
You may agree or disagree with the choices that Sara makes here, but the film is least bothered about what the audience may think about those decisions. It has characters who only analyze Sara's decisions. Take the mother-in-law of Sara, played by Mallila Sukumaran, for instance. Her Reetha questions whether Sara is making the right choice for her family, while examining the possible downsides of her decision. But at no point in the film does Reetha become the cliched mother-in-law. Sara's also have other women characters who the makers use to make the audience look at the protagonist's actions from different points of view.
It is hard to imagine a film like this releasing at a time when Malayalam cinema was more regressive than now. But all of the above does not mean that Sara's is a masterpiece. It is a simple film with its fair share of problems, too, which we will discuss here. Firstly, when we first see Siddique's gynecologist, we expect the character to develop in a certain way, and he ends up doing just what we think he might. He explains and delivers pearls of wisdom to other characters, but director Jude and writer Akshay Hareesh do not put the gynecologist in mansplaining scenarios.
The makers also use too many songs at pivotal points, which only has a sanitizing effect on what would have been deeper, more serious issues. The film is bold, but given the material it deals with, you want it to be bolder. The songs never quite allow for looking into deeper and unexplored themes here.
Nevertheless, the performances hold the film together. Sunny Wayne is likeable and endearing as an understanding and caring husband. Mallika Sukumaran's wonderful performance makes us care for Reetha a little bit more as compared to an old Malayalam movie's mother-in-law. But it is Anna Ben who shines in the film's most important role. Ben makes Sara a sweet character with her inner demons - one we want to root for. The idea of pairing Ben and her real-life father Benny P Nayarambalam as the reel-life daughter and father is a masterstroke. It makes the little stares and silences between the two more meaningful than mere dialogues.
Can't believe I watched it. I can understand about women's rights and freedoms. But killing a baby to get it is a wrong ... Show moreCan't believe I watched it. I can understand about women's rights and freedoms. But killing a baby to get it is a wrong message to the society.
Very bad movie. Bad message. The heroin is like some "mothers" who killed their kids to live with their boyfriends. Just... Show moreVery bad movie. Bad message. The heroin is like some "mothers" who killed their kids to live with their boyfriends. Just look at recent cases where a woman called Reshma killed her newborn kid for a Facebook boyfriend.