Directed by Anjali Menon, Wonder Women is a heartwarming tale of sisterhood starring an ensemble cast of Nadiya Moidu, Nithya Menen, Parvathy Thiruvothu, Padmapriya Janakiraman, Sayanora Philip, Archana Padmini, and Amruta Subhash in the lead roles. The movie deals with a very simple story, but it manages to ask a few pertinent questions. Here’s our review of Wonder Women.
An ode to sisterhood
Six pregnant women come to a prenatal home, Sumana, run by Nandita in order to prepare for the birth of their children. All women are from different walks of life. Nora is an artist who was working towards opening her own cafe, but got pregnant and is now focused on her child. Mini is a single mother in the middle of a divorce, and Veni is a housewife who wanted to be a lawyer but had to give it up after marriage. Saya is a free-spirited singer in a live-in relationship, and Jaya has been through multiple miscarriages and is finally pregnant through treatment. Gracy works with Nandita at Sumana.
As the seven women spend time with each other, they not only learn how to be good mothers but also how to be better versions of themselves. Through friendships formed, they learn to rely on each other and find a strong support system.
It’s more than just pregnancy
On the surface, Wonder Women may seem like a movie about six pregnant women and the struggles they face, but director Anjali Menon has given a nuanced take on themes like patriarchy, imposition of language, repeating the mistakes of the past, and being judgemental.
At the very beginning, among a bunch of South Indian, English-speaking women, is Jaya, a Marathi woman who doesn’t speak English and requests Nandita to speak in Hindi as that’s our national language. Jaya’s ignorance is further evident when she says that she doesn’t speak “Madrasi” and the rest of the women gang up on her to tell her otherwise. Menon deals with the Hindi imposition we regularly see in our daily lives in a very nuanced way, without making it political or making it too much of a big deal. She also tells us that people, if given a chance, can be educated if they are willing to learn.
In another instance, Veni’s husband refuses to go to the prenatal classes with her and instead asks her to go with his mother. His mother too lets him know that he is not allowed to wash his hands off his responsibility. Despite this, Veni’s mother-in-law is a product of patriarchy. In the beginning, when Veni is introducing herself, her mother-in-law intervenes and tells her to add her surname, i.e. her husband’s name.
The men in this movie are some of the most positive, vulnerable, and supportive men we have seen and we need more of them. They are not without their faults, but they are not afraid to talk about their feelings, they are not hesitant to change themselves for the better, and they won’t stop supporting their partners.
Wonder Women is now streaming on Sony LIV.
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