Movies

Hot Spot Movie Review : Thought-provoking Stories Addressing Important Social Issues

Watch it for its impactful stories and sincere storytelling.

 

Director: Vignesh Karthik
Cast : Gouri G Kishan, Ammu Abhirami Janani Iyer, Sandy Master, Kalaiyarasan.

4 standalone stories of 4 different couples, each narrative leaves you with a message and a thought, but also leaves you wondering what you would do if you were in the same situations as the characters in the film. This thought-provoking genre of films is Vignesh Karthik’s forte and he is sincere and effective with his storytelling. The intention is to spark conversations surrounding gender roles, morals, and societal norms, which are prevalent in the society.

We are first introduced to a young couple in Happy Married Life, played by Gouri G Kishan and Adithya Bhaskar who want to get married. We are shown a reversal of gender roles, the fathers are the homemakers, and the mothers are the breadwinners. The women of the house call the shots while the men of the house are left to deal with domestic politics and workload. This was interesting to watch, what happens when a groom moves into the bride’s home after their wedding and is expected to perform all duties as a newlywed bride does conventionally? Do men understand what women have been dealing with for generations? Does this ‘newlywed groom’ crumble under the growing disrespect and disregard given to him by his partner and in-laws? Well, that’s for you to watch and find out.

The second story of the lot, Golden Rules is weaker when compared to the rest, it’s about this girl and boy who wish to marry each other but a twisted truth about their family brings forth a reality that they hadn’t expected. This story has some fine performers but seems underwritten and unfinished. What starts as a fun, comical tale ends up pretty grim and dark.

Thakkali Chutney is a funny one but with a serious message on morals and the double standards of society. You meet this couple, she is beautiful, independent, and instantly likable, and he is fired from his job for being caught masturbating in the office restroom. He loses his job, and his self-respect, he needs financial stability to ask for her hand in marriage and also to support his home and family. His circumstances are dire and in that desperation, he takes a path that’s morally ambiguous. Early on in the story, you hear him say that men’s and women’s desires are different, and love and lust are different, he juxtaposes with his partner saying that he loves only her and that physical intimacy with others means nothing more to him than that momentary pleasure. Are these rules different for him and her? Can she also indulge in physical acts with different people and come back to him at the end of the day? We all know the answer to that one, men and women are not treated equally in our society. And this story asks exactly that question but with a tinge of humour in it.

The fourth and last story in the film hits you the hardest. It’s a societal evil that everyone seems to be enjoying without fully understanding the grave reality behind it. Kids on reality shows are one of the most watched shows across the globe. Kids as young as 7 and 8 are dancing to double-meaning item numbers, performing acts as husband and wife, losing their innocence in the process. Parents want fame and money and their kids become a ticket to that, showrunners want TRP and the audience wants entertainment. We see a family of 4 in this last installment, they are poor but happy when their kids get a chance to participate in a reality show, and they grab it with both hands. They are looped into this whirlpool, it’s a vicious cycle that usually ends in tragedy. This story is extremely relevant to the times we are in today, kids and their exposure to media, their participation, and the lack of supervision and protection are leading them into the hands of pedophiles. It’s a wake-up call for everyone and an extremely important issue to address.

The stories are preachy but that’s the only way one can get a point across to the audience intended. The messaging is progressive and resonates with the audience, the film sheds light onto social issues that everyone is aware of but are normalised to a sad extent.

Rating – 3.5

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