Santhoshathinte Onnam Rahasyam movie review: Deliciously cheeky yet debatable take-down of the romanticisation of parenthood
Santhoshathinte Onnam Rahasyam movie review: Deliciously cheeky yet debatable take-down of the romanticisation of parenthood

Santhoshathinte Onnam Rahasyam movie review: Deliciously cheeky yet debatable take-down of the romanticisation of parenthood

Santhoshathinte Onnam Rahasyam movie review: Deliciously cheeky yet debatable take-down of the romanticisation of parenthood
Santhoshathinte Onnam Rahasyam movie review: Deliciously cheeky yet debatable take-down of the romanticisation of parenthood

Shakespeare’s Juliet might have declared with finality that “a rose by one other title would scent as candy,” however that’s a questionable conclusion. As a result of Santhoshathinte Onnam Rahasyamwould have misplaced a complete layer of scrumptious impertinence if the makers had opted for one more title.

Director Don Palathara’s movie is a few couple in Kerala on their option to a health care provider’s clinic to substantiate a suspected being pregnant. The whole narrative of 85 minutes rolls out in a single shot set of their automobile journey to the medical facility. The drive is fraught with a lot rigidity over this undesirable being pregnant that they struggle each step of the best way.

This makes Santhoshathinte Onnam Rahasyam, which interprets to The First Secret of Happiness, an ironic alternative of title because it lays naked a fact that society tries to maintain hidden, particularly from those that usually are not dad and mom, in a bid to make sure that they choose to have kids some day: the reality that parenthood isn’t the supply of unbridled pleasure it’s claimed to be neither is it essentially universally anticipated with undiluted celebration by those that are about to turn into moms and dads.

Taking the purpose a step additional, the movie’s given English title is The Joyful Thriller and never a translation of the Malayalam Santhoshathinte Onnam Rahasyam. The Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary recited by Catholics cowl episodes from the Bible together with what is named The Annunciation – the legendary announcement made to Mary by the Angel Gabriel that she is going to conceive and turn into the mom of Jesus, the Son of God. This story is introduced as the final word instance of obedience to the Creator, however devotees select to not dwell on what a horrible trauma it will have been for a teen within the Center East 2,000 years again to be pregnant exterior wedlock; or the dearth of feminine company concerned – she is ‘instructed’ she shall be a mom, she isn’t requested.

And so in a single fell swoop, Palathara not simply rips by means of the worldwide penchant for romanticising motherhood that’s used to persuade ladies throughout communities that there isn’t a larger calling for them, he additionally calls on Christians to take a relook on the glorification of Mary’s predicament by Christian lore. Good.

The couple within the automobile in Santhoshathinte Onnam Rahasyamare Maria (a variant of Mary) and Jitin, performed by Rima Kallingal and Jitin Puthanchery who’ve each been co-credited for the dialogues. Maria is a journalist, Jitin an aspiring actor. Life is severe enterprise in her eyes, he’s extra laidback. They’re pressured as a result of they weren’t planning for a child, they don’t seem to be married however reside collectively with out the information of their dad and mom, and he has not yet settled down in his profession.

Palathara’s determination to make the movie in a single shot was a wise alternative that exacerbates the urgency of Maria and Jitin’s state of affairs. Confining the motion to a single closed house helps underscore their nail-biting anxiousness and the claustrophobia they’re experiencing on this chapter of their relationship. The muted color palette minimises distractions. The effectiveness of Santhoshathinte Onnam Rahasyam comes from the truth that the superb execution of those cinematic gadgets by DoP Saji Babu and the sound staff allows the storytelling relatively than distracting from it.

With this, Palathara carries ahead the popularity for experimentation he has constructed by means of his transient profession, which can be evident in his different new providing, 1956, Central Travancore aka 1956, Madhyathiruvithamkoor that’s being screened on the ongoing Worldwide Movie Pageant of Kerala together with Santhoshathinte Onnam Rahasyam.

(Minor spoilers on this paragraph) In truth, there’s a hilarious interlude in Maria and Jitin’s squabbles throughout which she interviews a well-known director on the telephone and he explains his response to individuals describing his works as experimental. Right here, Palathara is protesting towards the general public and media view of his work and concurrently laughing at himself. That he selected to lend his personal voice to that character on the telephone makes the scene all of the extra amusing and spectacular. (Spoiler alert ends)

There’s much more to it than that. Every time a 3rd celebration enters this automobile journey, the dynamic between Maria and Jitin modifications visibly as they take a break from sniping at one another – this, we realise, is what their relationship most likely is often; this is the reason they’re collectively, however the current unpleasantness; there’s a assembly of minds between them that doesn’t at all times require phrases to transmit ideas.

Kallingal and Puthanchery, who’re first-rate all through the movie, are very good in these moments. Simply because the characters comprehend one another with out talking right here, the actors too make dialogues redundant. The fleeting change of expression on their faces, the flash of a glint they summon up of their eyes is sufficient.

That mentioned, the movie is restricted by the truth that Maria and Jitin usually are not married and by the particular causes for his or her worries about impending parenthood. Conservatives might frown on live-in relationships however would haven’t any downside accepting that an single couple wouldn’t need to be dad and mom, and are more likely to assume that social opprobrium alone is the rationale. The story would have a very totally different dimension– and would irk conservatives at one other stage – if Maria and Jitin didn’t need a youngster as a result of they’re merely not focused on infants, particularly in the event that they have been married. Should you disagree, ask child-free married {couples} concerning the prejudice they face. That might be a special movie although, and for the document, Santhoshathinte Onnam Rahasyam is necessary, essential and gratifying in itself.

A lot as I appreciated a lot about this movie, nevertheless, I’ve not been capable of shake off an overriding concern even after a second viewing. At first, on that automobile journey, Maria is on tenterhooks in the best way any regular girl in an identical place could be, however because the story progresses, we get to see an absurdly unreasonable girl who’s spoiling for a struggle together with her paavam man.

He, then again, is thoughtful in the direction of her as a result of, in the end, if a being pregnant is confirmed, it’s she who has to bear the bodily brunt of it. He even rattles off a politically impeccable clarification for whether or not or not they need to have the kid, sounding a bit like a feminist thesis whereas doing so.

An argument might be made that she is written thus as a result of she, being a girl, has much more cause to be apprehensive than he does. It takes a supremely delicate human being although to see her that method, and as a type of human beings who’re supremely delicate in the direction of ladies’s considerations, even I discovered myself shedding persistence together with her. Regardless of the beautiful ending, Maria comes throughout as a little bit of a jerk in a lot of the movie.

Jitin’s solely flaw is uncovered in a fleeting point out of contraception. With out gifting away spoilers, allow us to simply say the script glosses over a key level by making even that factor as a lot her fault as his. One of many largest hurdles inhabitants management specialists in the true world face is the worldwide male tendency to put the onus for contraception on ladies, though each single birth-control technique for girls has negative effects, some even grievous, whereas the strategies for males are easy; males are likely to assume vasectomy impacts their manhood, and are averse to condoms on the grounds that they intervene with their pleasure. The remedy of a topic this significant is unacceptable in a movie that’s purportedly a few man and a girl being equally troublesome with one another.

Setting apart the difficult matter of contraceptives, what we get in Santhoshathinte Onnam Rahasyam then is a person being what he ideally should be in such a state of affairs, whereas she is what males largely assume ladies are always. To be truthful, this doesn’t appear to have been carried out with insidious intent in the best way final yr’s a number of award-winning Hollywood movie Marriage Story made an look of being balanced although its sympathy lay with the person. Palathara clearly has his coronary heart in the appropriate place, however his writing of Maria unwittingly reveals a self-limiting male gaze.

So, I’m conflicted about Santhoshathinte Onnam Rahasyam. The characterisation of the lady is troubling, yet I like the methods through which the script snubs its nostril on the typical social romanticisation of parenthood, I like the finale, the performing and Palathara’s persistence in pushing boundaries with approach. This can be a debatable movie, however the good factor is that it’s actually worthy of being debated.

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