As a kid I would often wonder about gods! I would wonder where do gods live, where to they go on vacation? Do they fight with each other because there are so many of them according to Hindu mythology? Do they keep an eye on us, humans, from somewhere above? And my list of questions were endless.
Years went by and I grew up! But I didn’t leave my curiosity behind.
Last week I ended up watching a Bengali film, ‘Half Serious’. Suddenly I had answers to all my curiosities right in front, on my screen 🙂
There was the God world, Eden, which had gods and also a super stunning goddess Durga and an equally stunning goddess Kali. Then there was our world, the human world.
Half Serious, the film, traveled on three trajectories! The very first trajectory is of a struggling film director who desperately seeks a break into the film industry with his super script; he feels he has an amazing script unlike the producer who feels the script lacks entertainment and asks the director to work harder to make it happen. The second trajectory is of the Gods in Eden. The gods in Eden sit and keep a close eye on planet earth, on people on earth. The third and final trajectory is of humans on planet earth dealing with normal day to day problems; gender issues; political issues; societal discrepancies and struggle for love and acceptance.
The film’s narrative starts and flows with the in-film director’s struggle to pull his own thoughts on what Gods would do and how they would deal with gender issues and deep rooted structural societal constructs?! What will happen on earth if gods decided to reverse the power structure and made the society matriarchal instead of patriarchal?! What if they achieved an equilibrium?!
While the director pulls the story together, he struggles with his own balance. On one hand he challenges the patriarchal society and at the same time he fails to understand his own wife. His inner conflicts reflect and impact his narrative and at the very end while the gods think of achieving an equilibrium, he finds his own balance as well.
The film jumps from one trajectory to another in a manner that can’t be disintegrated. However, the dependency structure between the trajectories could perhaps have been a bit more refined.
The film raises important concerns on gender equality, on FGM and on the position and respect of females in an Indian society. It goes to show how FGM isn’t thought of as a crime by most households and that a son takes an importance and precedes every daughter within the family. The film deals subtly with the issue where a man is criticised and looked down upon for not being macho as outlined by the society’s dictionary but loves his partner and helps with housework in his spare time. Although a man’s sensitivity cannot be disregarded and can’t be compared to his masculinity but the society does have it’s own dictionary. The film ends on a high, where acceptance and love lets individual be themselves within the society. It also abolishes the hierarchy where man puts Gods up on some predestral and look up to them for solutions! The film ends at a state of equilibrium where a man is his own God if he realises his true potential 🙂
Drifting away from the film’s narrative into reality; if I were to question God’s presence and decision making, it would be just identical to my own theory. I wouldn’t know the answers to most why’s and the most how’s but would I still demand and hope for an equality?! I don’t know 🙂 Rather, I am not sure.
Nevertheless, this film does satisfy my childhood curiosity and I enjoyed watching the concerns and causes that would interest Gods and humans alike! 🙂 And before I end, Half Serious has some amazing songs and beautiful visuals!
One of the songs that I absolutely adore .. keno je chokh rangash 🙂
Featured image courtesy : Google images