What an interesting looking movie! And what an interesting movie for this studio to make with these stars at this moment.
Well, this is just fascinating! Let me start with the basic thing. Through out the talk about making this movie and the casting and the promotions and so on, it was described as “Varun plays a tailor, Anushka plays an embroider”.
But, surprise! They are married! Anushka plays Varun’s wife. I don’t think it was sold as something else in order to surprise us and build buzz (although that didn’t hurt), I think (hope) it is because Anushka truly is more important for her professional skills than simply because she plays Varun’s wife.
So far as I can see, the plot is that Anushka encourages Varun to work for himself, even if it means just sitting on a street corner with his sewing machine. And slowly they build a factory and go through troubles and finally find success, as partners.
Something else I am trying to figure out watching the trailer, is this meant to be present day or slightly in the past? I can’t remember seeing a computer, or a cell phone. But it’s also in a village, so it’s hard to know. Besides computers and cell phones, there wouldn’t be much difference. Bicycles, busses, old pedal sewing machines, those would all still be in use. Also old-fashioned mustaches and haircuts.
If it is in the past, that is a very different story in lots of ways. First, it means that we are watching the rise over several years of this family. Second it means that we are watching the rise of the whole “Made in India” movement. I thought it was going to be a return to fancy homemade clothing after there are already so many textile mass production companies. But it might be showing the start of the textile mass production trend.
Most importantly, setting it in the past means it is NOT blind Modi propaganda, which was a little bit how it was sold. Blah-blah, India shining, India on the rise, individual success is the only way forward. Instead that means it is an acknowledgement of the basic fact that India’s current economic status was slow growing (as economic statuses tend to be) and comes from factors that existed long before the current government came to power.
Or, I could be completely wrong and it’s just that the village look looks like the past but is actually the present. What do you think?
What I am sure of is that I am very excited by the characters and story Anushka and Varun are in. Varun struggles a bit when brought out of that “innocent young hero” role. But at the same time, he’s a bit too old to play the complete innocent any more (October was a stretch). So a nice young man who’s just been married is kind of perfect.
And I love the idea of this married romance. From the trailer, it looks like they are setting it up as a husband and wife who don’t really know each other but think they might like each other and are bonded together by their struggles. Which is realistic, struggles do bond you, but also a bit different. We aren’t being sold the “the marriage tie magically makes them the perfect couple immediately” myth that most movies use. Or even the “they were in love before marriage and then after marriage life intruded and love ends” idea. No, life together is what IS love, what builds love, believing in each other and talking and working.
That’s another hidden message of the idea of self-employed. Remember my nepotism post? Pre-industrialization, families worked and lived together with everything mixed in. It was only with industrialization that there became this strong line between “men work, women stay home” and the sexes were so segregated. If you are self-employed, your wife can be part of your business, the two of you as partners, instead of her trapped home taking care of the family while you are miserable and lonely at your job.
My biggest concern is accents. Does it feel like Varun and Anushka are trying a bit too hard? It does to me. But often these things are more noticeable in the trailer and then when you watch the whole movie you don’t notice it at all.