Jafar Panahi’s offside (has the plot, the teenage girls all zealous soccer fans, masquerade as boys to slam into the Iran -Bahrain game at Tehran stadium) accentuates the idiocy of unerring separatist policies towards femmes is what before tipped me off on how unequivocally the rationale of misogynistic social structure reckons the women as captive livestock -yet they try to resist the very constraints imposed on.
Such trope is woven into the frame of The Great Indian Kitchen starring Nimisha Sajayan and Suraj Venjaramood in the lead, of which the wording touches on, it sardonically unveils the family unit with its devision of roles, norms of unpaid domestic service, authoritative gendered behavior.
Within that the children learn the characters sexual and otherwise that they are to assume in their turn as adults.
The filim begins with a typical “pennu kanal” ceremony before that the director makes the viewers get over the dreams of the bride within short frames.
Those who make acquauntace with during a tea break, the elitness of the groom’s family come to a halt as canon, onwards the each moments seem the step into the life in the kitchen.
A women with an identity enters into a family where the menstruation is seen impure, portrayed as her own flaw and still adhered to outdated thoughts, the father of whom she married to is a stubborn subtly levies the masculine toughie, the way not loud quiet contrary to that we are watching years hitherto. So that the peripheral progressive outlook which itself matters can we in no way feel throughout the cinema, who eats only stone whipped “chammanthi” for him the rice not be knocked up in cooker, the washing of clothes with machine causes it to crumble.
Above all, who is even unable to take his own brush and paste and when it’s time to go out his wife has to run away and put sandals on his feet. Having the girls in the family is a blessing and like comments often form his justification.
The kitchen is lion’s share of the one and half hour movie, along with the repetitive scenes of kitchen the most noticeable is the politics that the filim speaks of, might have made those who don’t imagine how bored the women who get stuck in the chain of replicative kitchen life is, feel iriksome for a while.
The sound design elegantly set to rythm of the story without the backing of the backround music is commendable. Suraj Kurup and Mathew Pulikkan deserves a well applause for making the music enjoyable and ofcourse, Salu K Thomas for capturing the meticulous details of the four walls of the kitchen on camera beautifully.
When she (the names of characters make no sense in this filim because it is the reflection of who we are in the society) frankly expresses the will, shruggs off the stigma of the superstitions at last walks towards the freedom, the mirror of a rabid sexist culture unfortunately the women often become its carriers for a long time in the history of human kind seen more clear.
Shemeel Morya is a student of BA English Literature at Calicut University, Kerala.