Title: Serious Men
Reviewed By: Sai Nikhil
Cast: Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Akshath Das, Nassar, Indira Tiwari
Director: Sudhir Mishra
Streaming on: Netflix
Story: Ayyan Mani (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) belongs to the socially and economically deprived section of the society and works as a PA in the Indian Institute of Fundamental Research. The struggles and oppression he faced from his superiors throughout his life forces him to shape his son Adi’s (Akshath Das) life in such a way that everyone looks up to him irrespective of his social status. What did Ayyan realise in this process forms the story.
Performances: Nawazuddin Siddiqui is a master in portraying these type of roles. He is at his best throughout and expresses every emotion with utmost perfection. Akshath Das is superb and adorable as Nawazuddin’s son and has performed too well for his age. Nassar’s presence adds depth to the film. Indira Tiwari and Shweta Basu Prasad appear in other small but important roles.
Technicalities: Camerawork is splendid and neatly captures the different lifestyles in Mumbai. Music suits the mood of the film and there are no songs till the climax. Editing is good. Dialogues are very neatly written.
Analysis: This movie is an adaptation of the novel by the same name. The movie deals with two important points – the caste equation and the importance of allowing children to go with the flow rather than forcing them on to something. The movie beautifully deals with these two themes without ever being preachy or melodramatic. The main attraction in the movie is it’s freshness. The first 30-40 minutes completely grabs our attention with the fresh and satirical narration, plot and characters. Despite so many movies focusing on the lives of the weaker section of people in Mumbai, this movie tries to be unique as much as possible from other movies. The middle one hour duration in the film is a bit uneven but never bores us. The climax is good and neatly conveys what it intends to. The performances of Nawazuddin and Akshath Das take the film to the next level. Despite having a universal theme, the movie cannot be watched with family as it has a couple of sex scenes and the usage of bad words. The writing team and director Sudhir Mishra deserve applause for beautifully adapting the novel and for presenting it in as much a fresh way as possible.
On a whole: Serious Men is a fresh and meaningful attempt added with Nawazuddin’s brilliant act. It is definitely worth a watch.