Wonder Women Malayalam Movie
Wonder Women Is Pregnant With Ideas But Fails To Deliver The Goods
Anjali Menon's Wonder Women barely constitutes a film. It is more of an extended short film about six pregnant women who come together for a group therapy session on pregnancy and labor. These women are from different social classes with different life experiences, but pregnancy unifies them.
Parvathy Thiruvothu plays Mini, a frustrated single mother with a problem blending in with the rest of the group. She has a sad backstory, unlike the other members of the group. The happiest of the lot is Veni, played by Padmapriya, with a distant husband and a seemingly controlling mother-in-law. Nithya Menon's Nora is perhaps the most talkative of the lot here, but she is also a bit judgemental. The moment Nora sees her fellow therapy participants, she tells her partner, "Weird folks are turning up."
There are some more characters, but a running time of 100-odd minutes is not enough for a relatable film. Anjali Menon tries to pack in too much into her script while not leaving enough space for each character to come alive. We hardly get to know what each of these characters is like due to the lack of time devoted to them.
Anjali Menon is usually a subtle storyteller, but she shows the subtlety of a sledgehammer here. In an early scene, the women argue over the overemphasis on Hindi as India's national language. The scene feels a bit forced into the screenplay, although it ends with an all-encompassing line on pregnancy from Parvathy Thiruvothu's character.
Conflicts arise between some of the women and disappear in the blink of an eye. For a film that discusses equal treatment, it is strange to see a pregnant woman acting as a servant even when she is around the same group. The climax with a family reunion subplot also falls way short.
Usually, a message film works best if the message is woven well into the script. Wonder Women itself plays out as one big message. Little comes organically out of the script here, which is unusual for an Anjali Menon film.
Wonder Women is not a total write-off, though. There are some moving bits here, like one involving the idea that you need not give birth to be a mother. Further, the performances elevate the proceedings considerably. Everyone from Amruta Subhash to Nithya Menon to Nadhiya Moidu is a joy to watch.