Serious Men

Story of a father who is desperate to ensure that his young son rises above the life of obscurity and disregard, this engaging and thought provoking satire is a mix of many light humorous moments and some heart tugging ones.

Cast – Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Aakshath Das, Indira Tiwari, Nasser, Shweta Basu Prasad, Sanjay Narvekar

Director  – Sudhir Mishra

Based on a book by the same name by Manu Joseph

Plot

Ayyan Mani (Nawaz) belongs to a minority caste and under privileged socio-economic status. Often treated with utter ignominy by his senior research scientist boss (Nasser), he feels frustrated that education and IQ are not enough to get him his fair chance and place.

Despite his educated and professional status, he struggles at each step to get the recognition and respect. He wows that his son will rise above this disregard and insignificance.

The story jumps a few years and we see Adi (Aashath) getting name and fame as a child prodigy. Ayyan is basking in the glory too… till the things start going downhill and the bubble is about to burst.

Analysis

In an engaging story, the makers rake up some pertinent and real issues like caste bias, the divide between the privilege and the un-privileged, the claustrophobic and toxic frustrations arising therefrom and parental aspirations.

Without making the narrative too heavy except for a few instances, they make you ponder and see the perspective from a certain angle.

Dialogues written for Nawaz and the way he delivers them had a lot to do with conveying that intense frustration and anger without giving it a negative colour.

Aakshath’s performance really pulled the heart strings. When Adi began to crumble, that was the toughest part of the film for me emotionally.

Indira Tiwari deserves accolades for her realistic performance. Her expressions, body language, get up was superb and to the T.

The real location and tenement used for Mani Family’s home was an important element in conveying about their life. It was compelling and impactful.

The only thing that I did not feel good about is why does the climax tow to a line where the “serious men”, the so called “highly educated and white collared” get away with their lies and still get painted white? Maybe Ayyan was right in what he felt all along!

Over all it was an engaging watch with substance at its core and wonderful lead performances adorning it.

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