If you are considering watching this movie and want a sense of what it is like before making your decision, I am here for you! If you have seen this movie and want to talk about it, wait a second, I’ll be putting up another post in a second.
I love Masala, Masala is great. You go from comedy to romance to tragedy in no time flat. But the thing is, Masala on works if you combine it with songs (to heighten the emotions and define them), and length (so each mood has space to land). When you are doing a 90 minute movie that’s all script driven, you’ve really got figure out what mood you want and stick with it. Especially when you are trusting your poor actors to make us care about them and carry this whole thing. Kajol is freaking awesome in this, but she can’t make a character work if it swings from hard tough dry emotion to WILD PASSIONATE MISERY at the drop of a hat.
I’m still gonna recommend this movie, for three reasons. First, watching Kajol and Mithila and Tanvi play off each other is amazing and joy inducing. Second, it’s got a little bit of stuff about celebrity and performance and stuff and I know the DCIB crowd loves learning about celebrity and stuff. And third, it may not be perfect, but it is the best three generation female focused movie we’ve got, so still worth watching.
Setting aside the WILD EMOTIONAL SWINGS, we have a movie that is entirely about mother-daughter issues, with the brothers and fathers and things just along for the ride. Just making it mother-daughter instead of mother-in-law-daughter-in-law is a big deal, saying that the maternal family relationship is lifelong and always most important and you don’t just magically become a part of the family you marry into is radical. The film also manages one of the trickiest bits of a female focused film, keeping the women the center but not making the men 2 dimensional. The male characters in this are nice flawed complicated people, but they aren’t what matters and they aren’t what drives the plot.
Tanvi Azmi doesn’t have as much time onscreen as I would like, and neither does Mithila, but they both manage to make an impact in the little bits they have. It’s Kajol’s show though!!! She is onscreen almost the entire time, she gets to play age 20 to 45, and she is generally flawless. Her biggest problem, as always, is that she acts with emotion not thought. Which means some of the longer monologues she really REALLY struggles with, it’s hard to keep that peak of emotion for that whole time. But on the other hand, the silent moments like just after Mithila’s birth, she manages to convey a whole world of emotion without saying a single word.
So if you like a little bit about celebrity in India, watching Kajol act, and thinking about female generation issues, then check out this film!
If you want to see an all around perfect short film by a female director, watch Bulbbul instead.