Posts Tagged ‘Slightly Unsettling’

Movie Review: We Are Family

Saturday, September 17th, 2011

We are Family

This movie, which stars Arjun Rampal as the recently divorced Aman, is based on the US movie, Stepmom. Having never seen Stepmom, I can’t comment on how it compares to the original.

Anyway, Aman is a photographer who is amicably divorced from Maya. They have three children ranging in age from 6 to 13. The children stay with their mother. Aman is a devoted dad. Maya appears to be a stay-at-home mom who is a bit over-protective and, yes, a perfect mother.

Aman has met someone else whom he loves, fashion designer Shreya. Aman introduces her to his ex and his children and it does not go well. You wouldn’t expect the older kids to take it well and they didn’t. I was surprised by how un-nice Maya was about it and in particular that she actively participated in and encourages her older children in speaking badly about Shreya. Shreya has no experience with children and pre-teens and she’s getting sabotaged by the kids, particularly the eldest daughter, and Maya. Tough times. They get even tougher when Aman caves in to Maya’s insistence that Shreya not be around her kids ever.

Maya gets diagnosed with cancer and Aman is there to support her. She’s not responding well to the treatment, and Aman tells Shreya that he’s moving back with Maya. He’s doing it for the kids. What he does not do is tell Shreya that he still loves her, but they are not happy apart. And yet, there is this strong hint (touching hands!) that Aman is having sex with Maya. Maybe. Hard to say. There’s no scene where Aman has a separate bedroom. Maya’s condition gets worse and basically, she asks Shreya to move into the house and be ready to take her place when she dies.

So, there’s Aman living with two women, his ex-wife and his ex(?)-girlfriend and the movie never really addresses the issue of who loves who (or in what way) and who’s sleeping (or not) with who. Shreya continues to have a hard time because Maya continues to allow the children to act-out and to also actively sabotage Shreya with Aman and it’s all a little odd. Maya is dying and it’s really sad and Shreya is trying to cope with all the petty little hates and her love for Aman and Aman, I have to agree, is in a hard place because he’s a decent man doing a very decent thing in support of Maya and his kids, who are, after all, losing their mother.

Then Maya asks Shreya to remind her eldest daughter on the occasion of her future marriage that her mother loved her and it’s really sad and then it’s a few years later at the daughter’s marriage and you can see that Aman and Shreya and the kids are fine and that they have never forgotten their mother.

The take Away

This was a well done movie with great production values. Rampal is really really good in it and so are the two women. But I just don’t understand the failure to clarify the relationships between Aman, Maya and Shreya. It’s … odd … to think that he might be sleeping with them both and unsettling to think he would be sleeping with Maya only, when it’s Shreya he loves. Is he getting any? Is he having pity sex with Maya?

What does any of that say about the role of women? Is Shreya just supposed to shut up and watch the man she loves have sex within the “marriage” he’s returned to? Would she really be OK with him doing them both? Or is he silently suffering and not having sex with anyone while he waits until it might be appropriate to pick up with Shreya when things are less of an emotional disaster for everyone? But THERE WAS THAT WHOLE HAND HOLDING THING between Aman and Maya and only one bed and no sign ever that he was sleeping on the couch or whatever.

Still, it was a good movie. High marks.