Sara’s movie review: Anna Ben’s film is a relevant tale about woman’s right over her body and to give birth
- Sara's, starring Anna Ben in the lead, doesn’t try to show motherhood as a burden but it allows one to introspect on the sacrifices women have to make to raise kids.
Jude Anthany Joseph’s Sara’s is basically the story of most Indian households but one that’s rarely discussed, especially in mainstream cinema. It is centered on Sara, played by Anna Ben, and how she’s almost convinced to sacrifice her career and dreams when she gets pregnant. An unconventional romantic comedy, the movie is a light-hearted take on how society and family pressurizes young couples in matters concerning relationships, marriage and pregnancy. Without ever getting preachy, the film manages to make its point while addressing a few common social stigmas.
Sara’s follows the central character Sara, played convincingly by Anna Ben. From a very young age, Sara was clear that she didn't want to give birth. She’s an aspiring filmmaker and when she meets Jeevan (Sunny Wayne), who also has a very similar opinion about not wanting to have kids; they hit it off. They fall in love and get married. As fate would have it, Sara accidentally gets pregnant and her decision to keep the child comes at the cost of her dream of finally becoming a filmmaker.
Even though the movie talks about a sensitive matter about a woman’s right to embrace motherhood, it takes a light-hearted approach to make its point. This approach works to a large extent because the message it tries to deliver never gets preachy which comes as a breath of fresh air. The film doesn’t try to showcase motherhood as a burden but it allows one to introspect on the sacrifices women have to make to raise kids. It also talks about how patriarchy has made raising kids solely a woman’s job as the men are the breadwinner. There’s also a line about misunderstanding choices for feminism which is how, unfortunately, most perceive it today.
Sara’s also shines the spotlight on the discrimination of women in the film industry. From being turned down to direct her own script because of her gender to being told that her duty, like that of most women, is to eventually have kids and raise them, the film doesn’t hesitate to address uncomfortable questions. There’s a powerful sub-plot about a veteran actress wanting to make a comeback but waiting to be permitted by her husband to don the greasepaint again. There’s another interesting subplot involving a male gynaecologist with a better sense of understanding motherhood than most men.
Anna Ben continues to impress with her choice of stories. She's slowly emerging as the flag bearer of films with unconventional story-lines. With an appropriately lively yet subdued performance, she makes us empathize with her character but at the same time root for her. The supporting cast also does a very nice job in playing their respective characters.
Director: Jude Anthany Joseph
Cast: Anna Ben, Sunny Wayne, Siju Wilson and Aju Varghese