Intends to bring about a ripple in this normative society, in the most elegant and poetic way possible, ALT Balaji's latest offering The Married Woman is both impressive and engaging. While on the surface it may come across as an attempt to portray the same-sex love story alone, but in reality, it transcends biology, barriers and boundaries. The makers of this one do have their hearts at the right place, and they also manage to strike some beautiful cords with some intelligently crafted moving sequences, even if the narrative seems patchy as indeed preachy in places.
Director Sahir Raza's visual interpretation of Manju Kapur's popular novel, A Married Woman, is not fiercely rebellious. On the contrary, it is designed to bring that much-needed smile to the lips of the audiences, even as it questions patriarchy, the set norms, and the concrete role-play both the genders assume in our society. The director uses the conventional broad strokes and subtlety in equal measures to justify what brings the two souls in close proximity before they start sensing each other's vulnerabilities and eventually start falling in love.
"We keep our fights dirty and our sex clean, it should be the other way round," quips Imaad Shah's character Eijaz Khan to encapsulate the social turmoil of the said time faced by the collective and the internal battles of the individuals going through longing and pinning. The foundation here is the fight between individuality and conditioning. The two components constantly mix and merge just the way it is showcased on the beautiful poster of the endeavor. Ekta Kapoor and The Married Woman Team Visit Ajmer Sharif Ahead of ALTBalaji Show's Launch
Those who have seen the trailer would know what to expect from the series. The increasingly mundane and majorly loveless marriage of Astha (very impressive Riddhi Dogra) is all set to take a major turn when she meets the free-spirited Peeplika (Monica Dogra). And yet there's so much more to their chemistry that grows organically. The common thread in the form of the man they both loved (and lost), albeit passionately and poetically, Their dramatically different and therefore complementing personalities. The strength of their unique characters and their shared vulnerabilities- there's a lot more to discover and cherish as the story unfolds.
The motifs here are more than relatable. How the sex goes out of the window before the couple settles for a set routine of sorts, how religious divides emerge from the subconscious before they take center stage and how lust between two individuals is substantiated by true love. The themes employed in The Married Woman have a range. From the backdrop of the social unrest, and the themes such as lesbianism and love jihad, it is difficult to pack in all these elements to eventually portray a picture where lines get blurred, and love demands to conquer only to warm the cockles of your hearts.
As you move along, as a viewer, in this journey you tend to appreciate the background score that changes aptly as per the landscape and the conflicts, the costumes that speak for the time the story is set in, and the sharp editing that helps to maintain the various subplots and subtexts together. A special word here for the hauntingly beautiful title track that stays with you with its words and the melody. The melancholy is unmissable! The Married Woman: Monica Dogra Opens Up About Her Upcoming Web Series, Says ‘Have Said No to Item Songs Many Times’
As for the performances, Riddhi Dogra brings her best to the table. She conveys the shortcomings of her character, her sensitivities and vulnerabilities with ease. Monica struggles in places as she tries to strike the balance between being a bit of a seductress, a bohemian spirit and an individual seeking true love. Imaad Shah is easy on the eye and turns on his charm quite effortlessly. Suhas Ahuja and Nadira Babbar have played their part well.
Our Verdict: The Married Woman is a poetically portrayed brave picture that transcends sexuality to reach the spiritual and creative realms. Invest your patience and you will walk away with a smile and a heart filled with love....the one that knows no boundaries!
Our Rating: 4/5
(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Mar 09, 2021 09:44 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).