Friday, 17 November 2017

Lakshmi- Short Film: Powerful & Revolutionarily or Foolish & Inconsiderate

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Lakshmi is a short film made in India which was recently on early November 2017. The film has been a huge success in the film festivals and below is snapshot of it’s achievements.

However, for not the same reasons, Lakshmi has been making rounds on social media. It has gotten the people divided into two opinions mainly. Some praises Lakshmi as a powerful and revolutionary short film while the other half is mad at how inconsiderate and foolish the short film is.

Before I go into giving my opinion on that, allow me to write a few things about the short film itself. Having watched it today, I was at awe at how the film was being made.

Lakshmi is a short film that deals with a theme of how when a married woman is treated poorly drives her into having an extra martial affair. Putting the story aside there were many things in the film that captured my attention.

The first was how they choose to show us the daily routine of Lakshmi exactly 3 times. Anything more would have been too long and repetitive and anything lesser would have been too short and not impactful.

In each loop of the routine, they showed different shots of her daily routine and at a faster pace, allowing us to understand what a mundane and meaningless life Lakshmi goes through.

She got into an arrange marriage and there seems to be no show of love and affection  from her husband. Yes, he has sex with her in every loop but it looks more to fulfill his sexual needs rather then something mutual and sensual

You can see it in the way has he reacts after having sex or the way he wakes her up to engage in sex. He doesn’t seem to bother that his son is sleeping beside and insist of having sex just for his pleasure as you can see Lakshmi is feeling very uncomfortable.

The next part which I enjoyed much was the whole black and white shots and coloured shots. If you noticed the scenes showing Lakshmi in her routine life is done in black & white. I feel it represents her life which is without any joy or happiness. Just like the dull black and white colour, her life is equally dull and meaningless.

The scenes where she meets her new “crush” is shown to be in colour. Despite not talking to each other, it is because of this guy is where we see Lakshmi smile for the first. He adds colour to her life. He gives her happiness and a sense of excitement in what is normally a dull day.

Now coming to the theme of the story, I have seen many people are being mad that it shows how a married woman is having an extra marital affair. If you look closely it isn’t just Lakshmi who has an affair, it started with her husband first who is having an affair.

Of because two wrongs don’t make a right, but was what really Lakshmi and her husband did wrong? If you look back at the film, the husband treats Lakshmi nothing more than a maid and someone he can have sex with. He is not concerned about her.

Even when she says she is stuck and has no transport to come home, he questions her back “so what shall we do now?” and when she says she is staying over at her mum’s place, the only thing he cared was who is going to make him breakfast.

From here we can see that there is no love or affection being shown by the husband. For Lakshmi, her married life has been like a pressure cooker which is shown at the very beginning of the film. It is bound let off some steam at some point.

She never showed any interest in other man despite being treated poorly by her husband. Her triggering point was when her husband started having an affair. If a man can have an affair why can’t Lakshmi have is what she felt.

The process of her discovering her true beauty and let herself go with the help of her “crush” was so beautiful captured with an art background and lines from Bharathiyar was so beautifully captured. It was a joy to watch Lakshmi rediscover herself.

If you look at what is being talked about putting down the film is all about her having an affair and not a word about the husband having an affair. How is that right?

This is a short film which reflects on the reality of many middle class young couples who were forced to get married. Whether you accept it or not, both married men are women are having affairs and I believe the key to making the marriage between Lakshmi work is by both of them having their affairs. Maybe that is what they need to make it work, a little meaning in their life to look forward too.

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