Emotions run riot in this Anjali Menon film “Wonder Women” (Movie Review)
Sunday 27 November 2022 8:22 PM UTC
By Balagopal Kent
LONDON Nov 27: The age-old dominant narrative with a pregnant woman was to ‘just get on with things’. Problems during pregnancy were to be endured with minimal fuss. They were taught to be stoic in such times and move with the family tide as it is a time tested actuality of life. Another rendering was do women not get to attend such prenatal sessions along with their spouse? Thus the criticism adrift was what’s new in “Wonder Women”. The curiosity in me decided to decipher what the noise was all about and thus watched “Wonder Women” in Sony Live.
Anjali Menon delicately traverses through the myriad of emotions women meander through the period of their pregnancy through her film “Wonder Women”. It shares with viewers the infinite and inexplicable fears of pregnant women which includes the visceral panic that takes over ones whole body at the thought of the pain creeping in during delivery.
With the portrayal of six pregnant women from various facets of life she captures their emotions for viewers to decipher and relate on how situation determines women’s character. The six pregnant ladies (Parvathy Thiruvothu, Nithya Menen, Sayanora Phillip, Padmapriya, Archana Padmini, Amruta Subhash) arrive at ‘Sumana’, a prenatal class conducted by Nadiya Moidu with beliefs, confusion, and questions regarding pregnancy and childbirth.
It speaks about the personal struggle and their vulnerability of feeling lonely and disconnected, in the hope that it might help others, it enlightens them that negative emotions shouldn’t be suppressed but need to be expressed or validated.
The story of the six women is told in a subtle manner which is discernible to the viewers to make them wonder how life’s travails are when a couple enters the realm of pregnancy and childbirth. The situation also brings to the fore on how men steer the whole scheme of things involving managing spouse’s emotions, work life balance, family et al. Anjali lays open bare the frailty of men in comprehending and mastering such situations.
Anjali Menon succinctly tries to tell men and the rest what a woman would essentially need at such times without her having to tell them and being more understanding.
Anjali also brings about nuances of the bonding between the pregnant women when they share their camaraderie through their lighter Whatsapp chats.
The story climaxes with the onset of delivery pain for the most fragile of the five. Again, Anjali doesn’t mince her screentime but delivers the final punch by sending a message in the last minutes by shouting out loud saying that women can bring change at places that need be too.
The message is loud and clear like what Simone de Beauvoir, the French existentialist philosopher, writer, social theorist wrote in her book “The Second Sex”: “One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman”, to which the argument is that situation determines character, a clear message to all.