If you are okay with average craft and pertinent messaging in movies, I guess the new Jude Anthany Joseph movie Sara’s will work for you immensely. Sara’s is a movie that deals with the idea of personal choice and parenting in the backdrop of the current society. Anyone in that age group of 25 to 35 would be able to relate to a lot of statements in the movie. But the craft in presenting that is on the weaker side, and thus it’s more of a vocal film than a film that would present its stand through subtle storytelling.
As the name suggests, Sara is our central character. From a very young age onwards, she was interested in narrating stories. Right now, she is 25 and has already completed three films as an assistant director. During her preparations for her first film, she met this young guy named Jeevan, and they shared one common characteristic; they both weren’t interested in becoming parents. The drama that unfolds in the life of Sara and Jeevan after they decided to get married is what we see in Sara’s.
A couple of months back, everyone lauded a post on social media by the Department of Women and Child Development. It was an awareness campaign that stated that whether to be a mother or not is totally an individual’s choice. It was against that popular sentiment that glorifies motherhood as the fulfillment of womanhood and abortion as a heinous idea. A simplistic feedback for Sara’s would be that it’s an Ohm Shanthi Oshaana-like advertisement for this particular campaign. And the best person to advise on-screen, actor Sidhique, gets a scene that could well become a lot of people’s WhatsApp status update in the coming days.
The writing part of the movie is done by Akshay Hareesh, who is a doctor. The treatment given to Akshay’s script by Jude Anthany Joseph is no different from his first two films. It’s that slightly eccentric caricaturish narrative that always focuses on the central agenda of the movie. In some ways, one can even call this a spiritual sequel to Ohm Shanthi Oshaana. If that movie was talking about a girl getting her own sweet time to pick the man she wants, this one is talking about the girl taking that time to become a mother. The script frequently addresses the societal stereotypes and shows the viewer (who is also a part of that fabric) how such perspectives are destroying the dreams and hopes of many women.
In terms of craft, there isn’t much here for the movie to get any credit. It’s a very straight forward flat narrative. Every statement the movie wants to make is spoken by some of the characters, and Jude Anthany Joseph seems to have no interest in keeping it minimal. The duty sharing of husband and wife, the husband being a supportive figure, the “allowing” husband, supportive father; through all these characterizations, they are trying to make it that progressive film of the modern-day, but they just don’t know how to present it subtly. Jude’s first movie also had the same treatment, and it still has a terrific viewership, so I guess craft doesn’t matter as long as the message is communicated. The music felt pretty average. Nimish Ravi manages to elevate the film’s visual quality through some neatly aligned shots, and I would say this is the most visually appealing movie of Jude Anthany Joseph.
Anna Ben continues to impress us with her natural dialogue delivery and fluidity in performance. The character of Sara wasn’t just about being bubbly and happy. And she manages to change the gears smoothly in scenes. Sunny Wayne, on the other hand, with his terrible dialogue delivery, was competing with Dhanya Varma, who was doing the acting bit for the first time. If Sunny’s performance had a similar grace, this movie could have been much better as the film’s soul has a lot to do with the dynamic between those two. Mallika Sukumaran plays the typical eccentric mother-in-law. After making one scriptwriter, the “cool dad,” Jude Anthany Joseph has made another scriptwriter the go-to “cool dad,” and this time, the opportunity was given to Anna Ben’s father Benny P Nairamblam, and he didn’t disappoint.
Like I already said, there is an audience for Jude Anthany Joseph’s movies that are overtly verbal. If you find that style of filmmaking exciting, then this movie will also be another fun experience for you. I personally prefer a middle ground, and this heavy contrast of progressive message and caricature characters isn’t a favorite zone for me. Anna Ben’s charming performance and the thought Sara’s wants to communicate with the viewer make it a passable comedy.
Anna Ben's charming performance and the thought Sara's wants to communicate with the viewer make it a passable comedy.
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended