Things like this are happening?
A working woman who works her heart (sss) out dead tired and reaches home. Then she had to make coffee. And then serve it to her in-laws and husband and give her kids (if they had) some attention and by that time clock already have it's short hand hovering around 9.
Or a housewife who starts her day at 5 rushing through her job of cleaning and cooking, then make sure that everything gets available to the outgoers. Meanwhile, the in-laws whose medical and other needs to be taken care of. If luck holds out 10%, the mother-in-law may lend a hand but still.
Things are still happening. May be in lesser numbers. In cities. But when it comes to small towns and rural areas, it's a prevailing culture in a considerable visible number of houses where women are confined to household chores and nothing else. As a variety in life, she begets children for the family and feed them.
It's not the case everywhere. But as the subject of this film is exactly about this, this review writer remembered how things like this are still happening in his experience. And examples to rhe contrary too.
The Great Indian Kitchen starts with the marriage of a young girl who dreams of a happy life and the arrangements the family makes for her wedding. The film ends with the wedding of another girl who also dreams of the same but...
The man or the husband is the same in both cases. The first girl goes to her in-law's and begins to settle in the house. Her husband is a school teacher who just teaches about equality and all things rational. Back home, he's a passive misogynist who along with his people tries to drive his wife into submissiveness. Without appearing so to the innocent eyes of the people from the outside.
Our first girl is asked to take care of the Kitchen when the mother-in-law goes to take care of her pregnant daughter before and after the first few months of the delivery. None of our first girl's wishes are fulfilled. She's not even treated as a human being and the act of lovemaking is just an act of lovemaking. That's all. No love. Everything's lost. What happens to her? If she becomes successful in bringing in on change in the household, and what's the relationship of this girl with the second girl form the rest of the story.
Despite highly positive critical acclaim, this Nimisha Sajayan starrer didn't find it easy to get a release in both theatres and the mainstream OTTs. Everyone wants a big piece of the cake called films with craze. Just like the women and their contribution in household is ignored.
Nimisha Sajayan is terrific as the first girl. The protagonist. She's one of the brightest acting talents in Indian Cinema but unfortunately she couldn't get breakthrough in other major and more mainstream film industries. But it's a pleasure to anyone watch her in any sort of role that gives her scope to perform.
Sooraj Venjaramoodu played her husband and the antihero to an extent did a fantastic job once again. Rest of the cast did put up great performances to make The Great Indian Kitchen an instant classic. The technical departments did well to make this film work effectively.
The narration starts in a deliberately slow paced manner and takes us slowly into its world and then sucks our all senses. Till then we need to give it support by not closing the viewing window. The direction by Jeo Baby is spot on.
Patriarchy and passive misogyny still exist everywhere and hypocrisy may never be eliminated in this world. As long as the things happen so, there is scope for films like The Great Indian Kitchen. It's not rosy at all. The meal served is hard hitting and like a medicinal diet. We need to swallow it to get cured at least in our thinking.