Darlings Movie Review: Alia Bhatt’s Darlings film has been released on Netflix on 5th August and as expected, the film is getting good response. The budget of the film is around 60 crores and the distribution rights have been sold to Netflix for 75-80 crores. Alia Bhatt not only played the lead role in it but she is also the producer of the film along with Gauri Khan and Gaurav Verma. This is the first film of her production, so there was a different curiosity among the people about what new came out of the production of Alia, who was amazing with her acting.
After watching the film, it can be said that as usual this time also Alia has not broken the expectations of the audience and her fans. Not only is he unmatched in acting, his choice of the subject line of the film as a producer is also strong.
The story of the film is based on domestic violence but its treatment is slightly different from the trailer of the movie. The trailer was promoted as a dark-comedy and Alia’s character in the trailer looks a bit suspenseful, a bit intimidating. However, the character of Badru (Alia Bhatt) in the film is quite the opposite.
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The film is based on Badru, Hamza and Shamshu (Alia’s mother). Badru and Hamza had a love-marriage but while intoxicated, Hamza assaults his wife. Hamza apologizes to his wife every time after assaulting her and she forgives him in emotion. Badru hopes that her husband will change once she has a child, but Badru’s mother understands that this will never happen. She wants to save her daughter, who is completely dedicated to her husband.
The story takes a turn at one point when Badru’s patience runs out and she wants to take revenge on her husband, to get back her respect. It is interesting to see what turn Badru’s story takes next. The ending of the film seems predictable at first, but in the last scene you understand that you could not have imagined this.
The story is good and the way of presenting it is also commendable. Domestic violence is a very tense subject, comedy has been used to make it light, but the film does not deviate from the subject. There is a message in the film that ‘If someone makes a mistake unintentionally, it is another matter, but if it is a habit of someone to make a mistake, it means that if someone’s nature is suppressing and harassing, then the person who gives him the opportunity is himself responsible for his condition. It happens’.
The story of frog and scorpion has been used to explain this message. Seeing Alia’s red-dress look at the promotions, many people got the illusion of the film to be a suspense-thriller based on the social message, which such viewers start looking for as soon as the film starts. They wait for the suspense throughout the film but the suspense doesn’t come till the end, just in the last scene the film seems unpredictable for a few seconds, then ends with a predictable ending.
An attempt has been made to give a social message along with entertainment by giving a comic color to a sensitive subject like domestic violence, which has also been successful. The subject-line is shown very simplistically, without going into much detail on ‘why it happens’, ‘how it happens’, ‘how and how it affects someone’s life’, etcetera. For this, the support of love-story has been taken.
As is usually the case in homes – things like drinking, beating the wife, doubting have been shown, but the subject should not be burdensome and the social message should also be maintained, an attempt has been made to balance it. For example, in the film, when Alia Bhatt is complaining against her husband to the police for the first time, two dialogues have been used – “Marad log daru pk hangman ban hai”…. “Because the woman lets…!”
These are short dialogues, which have been done away with comedy, but give their message that the woman herself promotes it and is responsible for its consequences, while enduring domestic violence. Similarly, there is a dialogue showing the “emotional flower” side of women suffering domestic violence – “Pyaar nahi karta, toh marta kyun… and you don’t love, toh sahti kyun”.
Every effort has been made to maintain a grip on the story-line in the dialogues. Some punches are very good, they are the life of the film but some situations bore.
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Although most of the shooting is indoor, but in some places, excellent use of camera-angles and sound-effects has been done. For example, after the abortion, when Badru comes from the hospital with a plan to take revenge on her husband, her camera angle is enough to narrate the story in itself.
In one scene, when Badru is alone and is getting peas peeled from a kidnapped husband while cooking food in the kitchen, her husband frees himself by breaking a rope from a broken glass… a simple scene but with the fall of peas, of a blender. The way the voice, Alia’s movement, small dialogues of befikri are inserted in the middle, it creates a natural fear of what is to come next.
The comedy of dialogues has worked in saving the film from becoming boring, but the film bores at many places. Comedy has been tried by showing the conversation between Shefali-Alia with gestures, but at some places it seems unnecessary, boring.
It is understandable to show a woman independent in every way and not make the treatment burdensome, but using men everywhere is shown as a trick which is too cumbersome and too boring.
Why watch and why not watch!
Let’s talk first why not watch! If you have been expecting it to be a suspense-thriller like ‘Andhadhun’ by watching the teaser-trailer, poster and ‘La-Treat Gaana’ of Darlings, then don’t watch it. You will keep waiting till the end that Alia will do something like this, some suspense will be created but it will not happen. To make the film realistic, Badru’s character is repeatedly shown the fearful side of women battling domestic violence, she dares to do something big but gets scared the next moment and her mother takes care of her.
Some characters are also unnecessary, can bore. Though all of them have been kept for a specific purpose, but justice has not been done to those characters, they seem stuck.
As always Alia’s acting is strong but actor Vijay Varma’s acting is the life of this film, as soon as she leaves the film seems a bit cumbersome.
Why watch the rest of the movie now! If you are a fan of Alia, then there is no other reason not to watch the film. Apart from this, even if you want to watch a good entertaining movie with a social message, the film will not disappoint you, the comic dialogues of the film are superb.
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The script of the film is good and its influence is also visible in the making but it could have been made a little better. Full marks will be given for the dialogues, but due to unnecessary situations and characters, the film has become cumbersome at times, cannot deny it. Apart from this, the kidnapping scene has become very long and boring due to which its marks are cut.
Overall, ‘Darlings and the team’ has managed to deliver a sensitive subject better than average. The film is definitely a one time watch.
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