BOTTOM LINE: A Relevant Idea Loses Out to Tacky Treatment
|Platform: Aha Video||Genre: Drama|
What Is the Story About?
Nanditha, a 20s something woman in a middle-class family, gets married to an NGO professional Anand as per the wishes of her parents. She has no idea of the beast beneath the simplistic appearance of her husband. A few days into the marriage, she desists her husband’s sexual advances and the idea of consent seems to be totally absent in the relationship. Neither her mother nor the mother-in-law resonates with her concerns. Things take a turn for the worse when Nanditha realises of her husband’s extramarital affair with a colleague Neena. Is Nanditha even allowed to be hopeful?
Thiruveer as Anand is easily the show’s best find. The actor smartly utilises his body language, mannerisms and histrionics to reflect the intentions of the notorious character he plays. The transformation from his introverted behaviour in the public space to the beast he becomes in the confines of his home is immensely effective. Deepti Sati, though not as spontaneous as her male counterpart, makes a decent effort to internalise the turmoil experienced by a girl who’s ashamed of her sexuality and is treated as a sex object by her husband. Jennifer Piccinato’s sync issues hurt big-time and even as a performer, she doesn’t have much to offer in the poorly established role. Actors Ravi Varma and Padmaja come up with decent performances despite the minimal screen time.
Sin, the Telugu adaptation of Hoichoi’s Hello, is a wasted opportunity that fails to exploit the scope of its reasonably interesting premise to the fullest potential. The sensitive issues that it wants to bring to the forefront – i.e. the stigma surrounding homosexuality and the lack of awareness concerning marital rape – are trivialised amid a host of unnecessary subplots that do little to take the story forward. The treatment too is to be blamed – it is more satisfied in being titillating than caring for the trauma of its central character.
The portrayal of the male protagonist Anand and the world around him isn’t done in great taste. The director Naveen Medaram goes a little beyond than merely depicting the male-privilege in a matter-of-factly fashion and worse, sometimes glorifies it. Anand’s colleagues keep passing creepy comments about Neena, the girl who the former has an affair with – the dialogues with direct sexual references don’t help the show. There could have been so many other ways to show the twisted mindset of his male colleagues at the workplace.
The narrative goes back and forth consistently, which also becomes a cause for some confusion. There’s too much generalisation – be it the men or the elderly lot. Beyond the lead characters Anand and Nanditha, the other roles don’t have meat in their characterisation. The blend of marital rape and closeted homosexuality doesn’t sit pretty either – none of the issues gets the focus or the significance they deserve. The twist in the climax takes you by surprise but leaves you perplexed about its timing.
Some of its visuals are powerful though – the shot of the blood spilling through the hall in Nanditha’s house without her knowledge, as she mops, is arresting and is a powerful attempt in presenting her trauma in a single frame. The womaniser brother-in-law, the supportive sister-in-law are interesting characters though they aren’t integral to the plot’s outcome. Despite the promise, the tone of the show is its most problematic aspect. It misuses sensitive issues for cheap thrills and defeats the very purpose of the show. Though the filmmaker may have been loyal to the original material, the least he could have done is to more to make it more well-rounded and sensitive.
Music and Other Departments?
The background score is a job done well in the context of the show’s plot. Sid Jay as a cinematographer brings liveliness to the frame despite the obviousness in the backdrops. The editing is reasonably sharp, but the narrative could have easily been more cohesive had it more focused in creating a striking emotional impact. The writing proves to be the major dampener – it’s all over the place, the character-establishment (beyond the leads) is weak and the dialogue needed more abstractness than directness.
The attempt to cast a light on marital rape
Did I Enjoy It?
Will You Recommend It?
Review by Srivathsan Nadadhur