Starring Sakshi Tanwar, Anurag Arora
Directed by Ashwini Iyer Tiwary
Rating: *** ½ (3 and a half stars)
Admit it. Mother or Wife, or maybe that Sister… all of us have taken the woman who runs the kitchen in our home for granted. Thankless job…work without pay…saving on the house-help’s wages…such are the innuendos that underline a householder’s thankless morning-till-night toil.
What if SHE, the woman who looks after everyone and everything in the house, decides to take a break? Sakshi Tanwar, in a performance that makes the 18-minute performance look like an eternity of coiled emotions that barely emerge to the surface in a simmering wave of poignancy, is Seema the ‘Everyday Housewife’ that singer Glen Campbell sang about.
Sakshi is an actor I’ve always admired. Her ability to project ordinary lives is extraordinary. Watching her go through the slogging paces of housewife’s daily routine I was again struck by her propensity to project the epicentre of middle-class hypocrisy without making a song and dance of it.
Speaking of which, there is a moment in this precious if a predictable short film with long legs where Sakshi after serving samosas for her daughter’s friends, hides behind the door and dances with them to her ‘favourite’ song. The daughter ticks her off.
“Please don’t embarrass me.”
Sakshi’s face fell, and I remembered my mother who was trying to learn driving when I was a teenager. My brother and I hooted her out of her little wish-fulfilment.
Then there’s the other very-familiar situation of the husband bringing home a bunch of buddies from office whom the wife must entertain with smiles and pagodas and in return, get insulted by her husband (Anurag Arora) who doesn’t even know he has insulted her.
“Baat sirf ek baat ki nahin hai,” she later explains to her insensitive husband, evoking the Thappad logistics of a devoted housewife’s litany of insults which are here manifested in a determination to take a month-long break in Goa. Alone.
Ghar Ki Murgi treads familiar territory of the householder taken for granted by her family. There is something supremely uplifting, cathartic and reassuring about Sakshi’s presence. Ashwini Iyer Tiwary owes her a full-length feature.
A thought. Isn’t there something exploitative about using Sakshi’s talent for a short film but running to Kangana Ranaut for the big picture?
Yes, on some level or the other we are all guilty of exploitation, neglect, insensitivity. Sorry Mom, I hope you are driving around in your car up there without two boys discouraging you noisily.