Alia Bhatt’s ‘Darlings’ on Netflix is an epic dark comedy about the dangerous relationship between love and domestic abuse.
Sometimes it’s serious, and sometimes it’s humorous when you realize how oddly the issue has been put.
Hamza Shaikh (Vijay Verma) is an alcoholic who is a TC (Ticket Checker) in the railways by day and a beast by night, as he brutally beats his wife Badru Nissa (Alia Bhatt) for silly reasons. Hamza is the toxic spouse notorious for encouraging domestic violence based on the belief that men possess their wives.
Hamza is a ferocious yet intriguing individual. When you witness him assaulting his wife, he will appeal to your justifiable feelings of wrath. He has a tremendous capacity to convince others that his actions were not intentional and that he will stop repeating them.
His wife, Badru Nissa, is the antithesis of him. She was persuaded to marry Hamza by her love for him. Three years of marriage and hardship had passed. She sometimes appears naive while judging her husband’s actions, whereas she frequently demonstrates shrewdness in other subjects.
Shamshunissa, the mother of Badru Nissa, is a single mother who lives in the same society as her daughter and son-in-law. She had experienced her fair share of suffering at the hands of an abusive husband. She is just as distressed as her son-in-law and asks her daughter every morning what went wrong.
Shamshunissa is a highly conventional woman. She feels that a woman must tolerate abuse to maintain her status as a married person who is therefore valued.
“Dunya to Sirf Twitter Walon Ke Liye Badalti Hai Sahab”
She responds to the officer who advises making a domestic violence complaint on behalf of her daughter.
But when the situation escalates, Badru and her mother Shamsu resolve to exact revenge on Hamza by giving him a taste of his own medicine.
Darlings are Jasmeet K Reen’s maiden film as a director. She has performed exceptionally well as a debutante. Her command of the project demonstrated her vision, distinguishing her greatly. Her job command is clear, as it demonstrates expertise and aesthetics.
Anil Mehta, who has worked on various Bollywood classics such as Aaja Nachle, Highway, Veer Zara, Badlapur, and the iconic Lagaan, is truly reflected in the scenes and cinematography of this film. His art is highly noticeable and naturally resonates with the audience.
Unusually, Parveez Sheikh has written the screenplay. Typically, he penned dramatic screenplays for films such as Phantom, Bajrangi Bhaijaan, Bazaar, and Raja Natwarlal. Seeing Parveez Sheikh behind Darlings is both fantastic and remarkable.
The screenplay is one of my favorites, as I have a penchant for stories centered around domestic houses and depicting the lives of ordinary people who are primarily disregarded throughout their lives. It is genuinely reassuring to see them exposed, regardless of the substance of the news.
Despite its sad character, the film contains humorous elements. It successfully moves the audience and evokes the old Bollywood comedic era. The narrative is receiving mixed reviews at the box office.
Ali Bhatt is one of the film’s producers alongside Gauri Khan, a notable aspect of the film (Wife of Shah Rukh Khan). Her ascent is indicative of her earlier achievements in Bollywood. Since her first appearance in Student of the Year, Alia has been everyone’s favorite.
Alia’s meteoric journey to fame was inescapable. Despite being labeled as a product of nepotism, she paved the path with her natural skill and won the admiration of her followers. She is currently one of the most prominent Bollywood actresses.
This film represents Alia’s lengthy absence from the film industry. In the past three months, she has been in the news for everything but Darlings (Her marriage, her pregnancy, and her movie Bramashtra). Alia’s return to the big screen in a feature-length picture is a breath of fresh air.
Shefali Shah’s outstanding performance qualifies her for the position. She excels in her character and infuses the narrative with vitality. Her sentences and the ease with which she conquers the screen are unparalleled, and she forms the ideal pairing with Alia Bhatt.
Hamza’s abusive spouse, Vijay Verma, is lovely. In what is arguably his first primary performance, he deftly transforms from an alcoholic to Badru’s empathetic lover.
His on-screen performance is commendable, yet at moments it seems that Vijay might represent his character’s alcoholism with more depth and inventiveness. Overall, though, Vijay’s performance is far above average, as he portrays his character with great heart and honesty.
The film Darlings has been condemned for normalizing domestic violence, yet it also advises how to avoid it. Regardless of the reviews, one thing is sure: Darlings is definitely worth watching. It features a beautiful cast, a particular storyline, and cinematography that depicts the poverty of a typical middle-class Indian or Pakistani household.
Darlings are presently available on Netflix Pakistan and are one of the most popular titles.