Natkhat film overview
Cast: Vidya Balan, Sanika Patel
Director: Shaan Vyas

‘Boys will be boys’.

Few phrases may maybe have the corrosive energy of those 4 phrases. Rephrased, recalibrated and retreaded, the phrase has defined away aggression of males all through historical past. In Natkhat, it’s introduced out for airing early on by the household patriarch, as he blames testosterone for his 7-year-old grandson abducting his feminine classmate. He can barely maintain his pleasure below management; the boy is alright, his manner appears to say.

For a rustic that has spent a big a part of the final decade debating if capital punishment for rapists will deter sexual crimes, we at all times appear to neglect how we spoon-feed poisonous masculinity to younger, impressionable kids. We wrap it up in ‘boys don’t cry’, we serve it with chapatis on eating tables, the place girls wait on males.

Shaan Vyas captures this brilliantly in Natkhat, the place girls are shorn of company and males get their energy from displaying bare machismo. Perhaps understanding the importance of the eating desk within the male-female energy dynamic, the movie’s most spectacular scene is about on one.

Vidya Balan doesn’t even get a reputation within the movie, she is solely outlined by her roles as ‘maa’ and ‘bahu’. Covered in a ghoonghat each time a male member of the household is round; she is conscious that her 7-year-old Sonu is being sucked right into a world the place gender roles are set in stone.

In a scrumptious twist, Natkhat casts a feminine youngster actor, Sanika Patel, within the function of Sonu. Bright-eyed and feisty, Sonu goals to be just like the male function fashions he sees round him. In a grotesque replay of native youngsters planning rape, he abducts a feminine classmate however is nonplussed about what to do after pinning the kid down. This doesn’t cease him from casually bragging to his father and grandfather about ‘teaching the girl a lesson’. He tells the male members of his household about find out how to resolve the issue of an abrasive lady: ‘Toh usse utha lo na!’ In one horrifying second, we see the person this boy will change into.

As the excuse of ‘boys will be boys’ is introduced out once more, his grandpa believes it’s the affect of TV – isn’t it at all times? His mom, nevertheless, turns her gaze inwards. As a sufferer of abuse herself, she explains what might be to Sonu by means of a fable. Through kings and princesses, she talks of a world with out girls, of a world rotting and dying because of its personal madness.

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Vidya, who has additionally co-produced the brief movie with Ronnie Screwvala, brings simplicity and nuance to the function. Dressed in nylon saris with a mangalsutra in place, her character’s arc runs parallel to her son’s story. With bruises which might be tougher to clarify with every passing day, she is each the sufferer and harbinger of change on this story. Her vulnerability is matched by younger Sanika, who goes from entitled to empowered within the house of half an hour. The second it dawns on the kid that his mom is the sufferer of the identical patriarchy that he’s so actively espousing is especially evocative.

Natkhat, the title, is a direct reference to Krishna, a god who steals butter and garments of gopis. Sonu’s grandfather additionally mentions how he needs to be allowed to look at solely Ramayan and Mahabharat after his transgression along with his classmate. However, the one fable that sits proper on this brief is the one informed by his mom. Maybe girls needs to be writing the brand new tales of a brand new world.

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