Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Taramani, Lakshmi and a Passage through Marital Life

By, Tharanie Rajendran

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Yes, I know I promised a write up on Taramani a while ago but I don’t do movie reviews as that is Sukesh’s forte. I needed more inspiration rather than sounding like a critique, more life to my write up and that is what Lakshmi gave me.

Lakshmi- a short film that deals with a theme of how a married woman is treated that led her into having an extra marital affair.

Taramani- a very bold portrayal of a single mother, dealing with many judgemental characters and a possessive boyfriend who expects her to fit into the mould the society has for a woman. Putting Andrea’s character aside, Vasanth Ravi’s impeccable plan to rob woman by giving them attention and sugar coat a telephone relationship highlighted on the number of empty relationships out there.

Both the movies revolve around the idea of sex and marriage where in Lakshmi, marriage is opted as the leeway for sex and Taramani scrutinizes the idea of a woman who has ended her marriage is portrayed impure, regardless of what was the actual reason that led to the divorce.

Both these movies portrayed the clash of desire, sexism and human behaviour. The substance that makes a woman love and make her feel included to form a family is completely evaded, and is portrayed as the harsh reality of life. Companionship and trust makes a family, but in both the stories, Diya and Lakshmi was completely lacking of it. In fact, both of them were victims of emotional violence.

One of the important character in the short film Lakshmi portrayed about a man that perceives marriage as an exclusivity contract and does not really put effort about her emotional wellbeing. There were several parts of the film where it was highlighted on how mundane her day-to-day activities were and she was not even enjoying the sex she has with her husband. He took her for granted and that boils down to a crucial fact that he was not only dismissive, he was okay with how things were between him and his wife. He expects her to fulfil the social notion of a “wife” that has been fed to him, which comes together with loyalty and no personal feelings. 

Well, the rule #1 in any relationship is to never take your woman for granted. She is a human too, who is capable of walking out on your sorry ass at any given time. Both men and women have the right to walk out of an empty relationship. Empty relationships is the kind of relationships that has low intimacy and passion, but high commitment (children, bills, etc..). Some women choose to end it (Taramani), some chooses to go with it (Lakshmi) for the sake of their child and society and some thought that opting for a back up boyfriend through a telephone conversation was a way to fulfil their needs (Taramani-Vasanth Ravi).

On the other hand, Taramani portrayed a strong theme where anyone can choose to have sex anytime they want, and that choice should not be tied with the social notion of marriage or a woman’s purity (Of course this goes really wrong at some parts of the movies, but oh well, I was not the one who made thiose choices). It also showed that most men think it’s okay to approach a divorcee because she “maybe sex deprived”. And if the lady doesn't give in to the needs of her superior, she will be ill-spoken of. 

A beautiful portrayal both these films exposed was only when a woman feels loved, safe and cared, she will be willing to offer a physical connection with the other party. Otherwise, sex given under duress (i.e. arranged marriage) is a hostage situation and perhaps some women were never thought to speak against it (Lakshmi). And that is why Andrea did not give in to her superior because that would be under duress, and it is not what she wanted. Both marriage and sex should never be the starting point of any relationships; it should, and always be love. 

I am not surprised if both these films topped the list of the most hated films of the year. Many hated these movies, because it is raw, ugly and it goes against all the societal norms and moral teachings.  Words like “extra marital affair” and “sleeping around” cause fear within us, not because we are afraid of some Almighty power, but because we fear the society cornering us, for being the black sheep among the norms although everyone’s dirty laundries sing the same song end of the day.

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