Every director has a pattern, a lens through which he visualizes his/her movies. The lens could be a prime one or a one with rotating zoom, depending on how he/she perceives the society at large. Huge chandeliers, extravagant makeup, larger than life sets or daily struggles, injustices, real issues – we need fantasy at times to relieve ourselves from the daily bread battle, it empowers our imagination and sprinkle glitters on our polaroid view. But, at the same time, movies also reflect the reality, and some directors take this unconventional route to magnify the disturbing facts of life with nuances.
Director Onir is one of them, with movies like ‘I Am’, ‘Sorry Bhai’, ‘Bus Ek Pal’, and ‘My Brother Nikhil’ – he tried to coherently sabotage the higher status that patriarchy enjoys in a society like ours. So, all his movies have a few common elements, like –
Social Issues: Onir has raised issues like LGBT rights, child abuse, molestation, women empowerment,the plight of the people of Kashmir in his movies. He has dedicatedly immersed himself in the flowing ripples of societal bondages.
Insecurity / Complicated Relationships: ‘Sorry Bhai’ narrates the story of a complicated relationship between a girl and two brothers who are in love with the same girl, although it looks like a normal love triangle, the twist in the story is that the girl had been already in an established relationship with one of the brothers and everyone knew about it.
Minimalistic Approach: All his movies are economically made without expensive production elements. Shadows and murmurs highlight the depth in the story and not the blinding lights.
Gyno-centric : The female leads are always powerful. Thinking from a women’s perspective his movie was named ‘My Brother Nikhil’ and not ‘My Sister Anamika’. Against all odds Juhi’s character supports her brother and fights against the phobic society, where sex is a taboo and a person affected with AIDS is considered an anathema. In ‘I AM ‘, Nandita Das decides to become a mother using a sperm donor. The movie was released in 2010 but still a decision like this in our society is explicitly difficult for a single mother.
Defying Heteronormativity – Onir’s movies break stereotypes of males and females of the society having predefined roles. It is individuality that matters and not the gender.
With all these common features we are looking forward to ‘Shab’ which is set in the cosmopolitan city of Delhi, about people coming from different walks of life – some in the search for love and some towards realization of their dreams.
Let’s see how differently this movie has been treated, where we are again expecting the bold characters to defy societal norms.
Shab is slated to release soon
Trailer : Shab