Magalir Mattum vs Simran: This week, film industry hails women power from south to north

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While Simran has Kangana Ranaut in the lead role, Magalir Mattum has Jyothika sharing screen space with Oorvasi, Saranya Ponvannan and Banupriya. While, the former is about an Indian divorcee settled in America and her brush with kleptomania, the latter is a simple tale about four women out to explore life on their own. The two movies’ plot is as different as a chalk and cheese, but the idea is the same. To explore how women think, and how they lead their lives.

Simran is loosely based on the real-life story of Sandeep Kaur, an NRI who was convicted of robbery, and delves deeper into the psyche of a woman who finds solace in thieving. What could lead someone to find happiness in something that is unethical or immoral? Why would you want to watch this at all? The reason is simple. Some of the best characters in the world of cinema are born when actors have played grey shades. Be it The Godfather, or more recently Leonardo Di Caprio’s The Wolf Of Wall Street. The depth of each of the characters in these films were one of the main reasons why they attained the cult status.

Simran may or may not become a cult classic, but it is surely on the right path to become the first of the films to be made in an unexplored field. It is about the steps in between that links the woman who is a housekeeper to the thief who is ready to bash someone’s head and run away from the police authorities when she is caught. From what we have heard so far, the director and the lead actor have also tried to make this movie light, and this is visible in the trailer. This lightness had an undertone of dark human emotions, the highlight especially is when Kangana Ranaut raises a toast to the world with a smile that is just not right.

In contrary to this, Magalir Mattum is simple and straight-forward. The film is a look at the lives of the many housewives through three pivotal characters. It is about what they have done for their family so far, and how finally they are ready to break the shackles of the society, and that of marriage to live their lives with the help of one documentary filmmaker. It is about the taking a stand to raise questions that have never been considered before, but in a simple way.

The group of four women decide to go on a road trip for 72 hours and explore what lies ahead. After all, the belief is that travel sets your souls free. There is a scene where the four of them are standing on a mountain top and yelling at the top of their voice.

They leave the boundary of their homes, and as quoted in the film, “the illusion of cage” and forge a path ahead of self-discovery. From trying their hands at shooting rifles, to riding a bullet and calculating the number of dosas that they have made in their lives so far – it is mostly the simple things that the film stresses on.

They are not leaving their family behind, because that’s not their intention. They are only taking a break. They want to live for themselves, for just 72 hours.

From being present just for a song and dance number, to scripts that solely concentrate on the male lead, female actors have been sidelined before and are sidelined even now. So, these two films releasing in their respective languages, and at the same time, both about women and their lives in a welcome change for film lovers. Will the movies succeed critically and commercially? We do not know that yet. However, the fact that the industry is taking a step towards making films that are not dependent on a male lead, but the script and the story is a good sign for the Indian film industry.

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