Verdict: A progressive film that explores a widow’s sexuality.
Nathicharami has been in discussions ever since its premiere at film festivals. It is very intriguing because of the bold subject it explores – a woman’s agency and command on her sexual life.
What’s Nathicharami About:
Nathicharami is the story of Gauri (Sruthi Hariharan), a young widow coming into terms with the loss of her husband. While she believes that the death and the subsequent loss is an irreversible damage, she tries to find ways to satisfy her sexual needs. She is constantly debating over how to remain loyal to the love of her life at the same time meeting her bodily needs. As a result, she keeps all the memories of her husband alive, and tries to indulge in sexual encounters without getting emotionally attached to anyone. Whether she will be able to achieve this balance or not forms the plot of Nathicharami. Over the course of her journey, she meets many people who help to shape her thoughts on sexuality and its inevitable calling.
Director Mansore beautifully explores the concept of a woman who acknowledges her sexual needs and takes ownership of it. Gauri is not hesitant to make advances. She is bold, up front, and very vocal about her terms and conditions. Though her morality is questioned by the men around her, she stands her ground and defends her take on sex. It is a delight to watch Sruthi Hariharan who is stunning, commanding, but also vulnerable. All the nuances and complexities of Gauri’s character are beautifully portrayed by Sruthi. Sanchari Vijay in his character of Suresh delivers a convincing performance. Suresh and Gauri have nothing in common in terms of their beliefs, culture, or ideas. They still manage to hit off well and find comfort in each other. This unconventional chemistry is well written and executed wonderfully.
What Could’ve Been Better:
The film has a breakthrough concept which deserves attention and applause. However, it may seem to lose its focus towards the end. The end is sort of left to the interpretation of viewers and hence Nathicharami may not be everyone’s cup of tea. Nathicharami is not a light watch, but a very intense one demanding a lot of engagement from the audience.
Why You Should Watch:
Nathicharami undoubtedly provokes you to think, it questions our fundamental ideologies about love and sex, makes us revisit the things we take for granted in life, and also some soul searching and debates if you are up for it. There is a lot of tension between what is right and what is wrong that is beautifully built through the plot, and hence making Nathicharami a thoughtful ride.