I watched Samantha and Naga Chaitanya’s Majili recently, after many people around me told that it was a blockbuster and a feel-good movie.
Majili is a recent Telugu movie directed by Shiva Nirvana and stars Samantha Akkineni, Divyansha Kaushik, and Naga Chaitanya.
I came across many people who appreciated the character Sravani, portrayed by Samantha, because “she is a silent, ideal, unconditionally loving and caring wife any man would love to have as wife”.
Majili is a story of a failed cricketer Poorna, who experiences heartbreak and adapts to alcoholism after his failed attempt to marry the girl he loves. Instead, he ends up getting married to ‘Sravani’, his neighbour who is unconditionally in love with him since years. After marrying Sravani, Poorna doesn’t really acknowledge her existence in his life and this goes on for years (not 2 or 3 years but about 10 to 13 years). Then somehow, Poorna learns of his ex-girlfriend’s death and brings her daughter, Meera home to coach her for cricket and then decides to adopt her to which Meera says she would agree only on one condition which is, if Poorna and Sravani start being each others’ spouses instead of just people who share a place of living. After this Poorna makes an attempt to understand the love and affection of his wife and finally they get their happy ending.
In the film, Sravani is seen making Poorna’s favourite breakfast, defending his alcoholism/ joblessness before her father, giving him money for his alcohol even before he asks, cleaning his bike, accepting his ex-girlfriend’s daughter into her home without a question and getting ready to adopt the 12 or 13 year old kid without hesitation and yet scared that Poorna would divorce her one day. Despite all her efforts, Poorna never acknowledges her pure love and keeps hurting her with words like “Nuvvu na room lo ki ragalavemo kaani na manasuloki raalevu” (Even though you could make your way into my room, you could never make get a place in my heart) etc.
I am no film critic but the reason why this has disturbed me so much is that I’ve seen many men I know, proudly announce that they would love to have a wife like Sravani from Majili. I want to know why.
Sravani’s love for Poorna made her weak and she never questioned a thing he did. People say that she trusted him and they had understanding of their own, but they hardly spoke to each other and no matter how much you love a person, there is no need to defend their self-destructive behaviour and there’s certainly no need to suffer in silence.
When there are already a lot of women in the country who suffer because of their alcoholic and jobless husbands, this movie glamorizes women’s suffering and gives them false hopes that if you continue to tolerate and encourage your husbands’ behavior, maybe one day they’ll love you. Maybe!
I came across many reviews that said ‘Chay and Sam’s chemistry was awesome’. It is really alarming to see the amount of people who actually think that the way Sravani’s life was wasted on making an alcoholic and jobless poorna’s life better, was romantic.
These days, most of us have heartbreaks and it’s completely normal. It is normal to feel pain, it is normal to feel off-track, it is normal to still have hope and it is normal to always have it in the back of your mind despite how you try to distract yourself. What’s not normal is destroying someone else’s life with your self-destructive behavior and expecting them to keep giving you multiple chances.
In Majili, Sravani worked as a clerk at Indian railways and was the bread winner for the house and took responsibility of everything without questioning. What if she wasn’t employed? The answer to this question is actually, the lives of many women that I personally know. These women’s husbands are alcoholic and jobless too which leaves these women no other choice, but to go from door to door asking for alms.
Why is it so hard for men to act responsibly? In this country, with enough share of women already suffering because of the unrealistic marriage roles that the patriarchy has set , did the director of the movie actually think he’s capturing romance with Sravani and Poorna’s characters? If yes, romance is overrated. No woman needs to go through so much trouble just to be treated as a human.
To the people who think that Sravani is the ideal wife you need, open your eyes to these realities about yourself:
- You want a woman to be so madly in love with you that she oversees all your mistakes.
- You want a woman to take total responsibility for you in your house as well as take care of your financial need while you simply want to exist doing nothing.
- You want her to keep suffering silently because of you and yet never complain about a thing in her life.
- You get the false sense of being in control of a woman when you see her suffering without complaining.
- You want her to keep defending your toxic actions and keep loving you with your flaws but will never do the same for her.
- You never want to make an effort to be better for her. Instead, you expect her to keep exhausting herself for one glimpse of love from you.
- There’s 70% chance that you already have a woman who’s doing all the above things in your life and you are still looking for someone else to change your life.
Globally, as many as 38% of women are murdered by an intimate partner and about 35% women face physical/domestic/emotional abuse by their own partners. Maybe it’s time for everyone to understand why crimes against women are increasing everyday.
Cinema is a very powerful medium; it has the capability to inspire the audience. In my opinion, film-makers must clearly portray the meaning behind their art before they decide to release it on-screen. Sure there are some parts in every movie that are essential to connect with the audience and make them feel relatable, but there are also many parts that unnecessarily cause damage. There’s a very thin line between what is artistic and what encourages misogyny and violence.
The above article isn’t just a review piece. It focuses on the problems women face in this patriarchal world, on a daily basis and the unrealistic standards that society has set for married women.
The main focus of this article is how Indian cinema and the Telugu film industry have completely normalized the emotional abuse of women and called it true love!