Movies

90 ML Movie Review: An Adult-Comedy With A Below-Average Storyline!

One time watchable!

Four women Paru (Sree Gopika), Thamara (Bommu Lakshmi), Sugi (Monisha Ram) and Kajal (Masoom Shankar), each with their personal issues get introduced to their new neighbour Rita (Oviya) who lives by her own rules. As she befriends them all, they set out on their journey to resolve their problems one by one with Rita’s help and together discover new highs in life. The movie’s story covers issues like the dry spell (read: no sex phase) in a marriage, homosexuality, infidelity, misunderstandings, societal taboos and a lot of others that women face in their daily lives.

The film has its share of flaws, but if there’s one thing that remains stark is the fact that the humour is light and not discriminating anything or anyone in any way. You can laugh at ease knowing that there are no shady jokes and sly innuendos peppered in, often aimed at demeaning an individual or group. It is refreshing, especially for the Tamil audience, to have women portray roles like these on screen. The screenplay isn’t particularly strong and the movie wobbles down towards the end with a wafer-thin plot and a climax that leaves you disappointed. In other words, the lack of a story remains a fundamental issue in this women-centric film and does very little to take it forward.

But beyond the film’s poor storytelling and haphazard characters, as a woman among the audience, it was exceptionally difficult to sit through a film at a theatre flanked by the male audience in all corners catcalling and screaming “matter” every time there’s an intimate scene. Apart from the barrage of hoots and whistles, there was some shouting, “this is what I came for,” and “show us more”, making it appear that their expectations of the film were just to see women doing what men are glorified doing, completely missing the point in the bargain.

Actresses Masoom Shankar, Bommu Lakshmi, Monisha Ram and Sree Gopika perform exceedingly well with their timely double-meaning jokes and their straightforward humour. Oviya’s acting is sub-par and Simbu’s cameo is unnecessary. On that note, Simbu’s musical is also just as mundane as his cameo but it still manages to sail through.

Women have often been judged, reprimanded and shamed when they choose to drink, smoke or even utter the word ‘sex’. Essentially doing what men do, but get in trouble for it. But, while women have the freedom, the film chooses to depict it as the only highs in life women need in order to come out of their shells. Isn’t it supposed to be like a choice of lifestyle and not the only symbol of progressiveness?

Yes, it is an adult-comedy genre and yes, it needn’t have any rules or restrictions. But, why is a progressive or a forward-thinking woman always someone who represents smoking or drinking? It is not a taboo or a societal problem if all women drink – but it mustn’t be the symbol of a practical, radical human mind. If your friends are having issues, it’s often advised to persuade them to visit a therapist for a clear mind rather than choosing vices that make them jabber in a drunken stupor as a form of remedy. Either way, the film does let you down and its progressiveness does seem to be misplaced, but at least it’s a sign that women directors aren’t afraid to make films that are brash, loud, and its women unapologetic.

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