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90 ML movie review: A senseless adult comedy that makes mockery of feminism

90 ML movie review: This Oviya starrer is one of those films that flaunts the feminism card for all the wrong reasons. Rating: 1.5/5

regional movies Updated: Mar 01, 2019 15:06 IST
Haricharan Pudipeddi
Haricharan Pudipeddi
Hindustan Times
90 ML movie review,Anita Udeep,Oviya
90 MLstars Bigg Boss Tamil star Oviya.

Film: 90 ML
Director: Anita Udeep
Cast: Oviya, Masoom Shankar, Monisha Ram, Shree Gopika, Bommu Lakshmi and Simbu
Rating: 1.5/5

Anita Udeep’s adult comedy 90 ML, which features an all-women cast including Bigg Boss fame Oviya, takes a path less explored in Tamil cinema and deserves praise for that alone. It’s the story of a few women who embark on an excess-filled journey of friendship and self-discovery, but end up undercutting feminism in the process.

90 ML is one of those films that flaunt the feminism card for all the wrong reasons. One of the sub-plots celebrates same-sex love but a few scenes later we see a male character pass lewd comments at the girl who accepts her homosexuality.

There are scenes where women discuss their sexual encounters with their partners but they make it sound so awkward that it defeats the whole purpose of encouraging a frank discussion about sex, and the fact that women have sexual agency.

Some aspects of the film that are supposed to be discussed with sensitivity (even though this is an adult comedy) are reduced to tasteless jokes, especially dialogues involving women losing their virginity and not being sexually active. As a film, 90 ML attempts to be cool but never quite makes sense of feminism and what’s even more disappointing is that it has been made by a woman director.

The women in 90 ML drink and they have every right to do so. One of the women starts drinking to make her alcoholic husband stop and her efforts pay off in the end. We see the women smoke up, and if the intention is to drive home the point that they’re free to do so, it has already been made in the drinking sequence. We also get scenes where the women get drunk, get into a brawl and create a ruckus because if men can do it then why can’t women?

And this is where the flawed and limited understanding of feminism comes in. Films like 90 ML encourage the bro culture and refuse to alter the gender roles or expectations in mainstream films. The content keeps it to superficial, forcing women to embrace what is considered cool without wading too deep into what really consists of women empowerment.

Also read | 90 ML trailer: Oviya and her gang of girls go wild, celebrate their sexuality

Despite the presence of Oviya, who comes across as an upgraded version of wink girl Priya Prakash Varrier, the film needed better actors to convincingly portray the characters. Featuring mostly newcomers, one could easily sense the discomfort with which the actors play their respective parts. Oviya does shine in parts, but even she can’t save the film after a point as it heavily relies on the camaraderie between the lead actors, which is never evident throughout the film.

For a film that openly talks about booze, getting high and sex, it never utters the word orgasm, which is casually referred to as O. In a shameless attempt to pander to the masses, it prefers using innuendos to refer to body parts instead of encouraging a healthy discussion.

90 ML could’ve been a very important film about women coming to terms with their sexuality and freedom, but it simply chooses to be a senseless adult comedy.

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First Published: Mar 01, 2019 15:06 IST