The film never dives in completely to criticise the casteism or the politics in the country, it cleverly illustrates different satirical situations that make you laugh as well as think about the society we live in.
We all have gone through situations, where we try to memorize something without actually understanding the context. Now, imagine someone’s whole life being based on this thing. Netflix’s new offspring, Serious Men by Sudhir Mishra tells the story of a kid who memorizes everything his father tells him to do, without understanding any context. The film also serves as a sharp critique for the parents who put their dreams on kids and spoon feed the education based on their goals rather than that of their kid. The film cleverly presents a satire on the norms of society.
Based on the novel by Manu Joseph, the film tells the story of a personal assistant called Ayyan Mani, whose whole life is about hearing comments like ‘imbecile’ and ‘idiot ‘ from his boss who is a scientist working on space microbes. Ayyan belongs to a Dalit background and condemns the fact that a reservation system isn’t enough for treating humans like animals for 300 years. Ayyan is frustrated and he completely understands how the whole society works, so when his son is born and he realizes the fact that his son is an ordinary kid, he establishes a system through which he channels his frustration and cons everyone.
The very first film that clicks our mind when we hear about a man belonging from the lower strata of society conning the people belonging to the upper strata of society is Parasite but Serious Men is nothing like that. Serious Men is not about a family but it’s about a single man who sees the society as it is and is angry at the situation as well as determined to change it so that his kid gets a better future. But, the interesting thing to like about this film is that the protagonist manages everything even when he tip-toes the line of what’s best for him and what’s best for his son.
The lighting, the set, the surrounding, costume, and music, all the departments are so neatly crafted that they all work like delicious icing on top of a gorgeous cake. The film never dives in completely to criticise the casteism or the politics in the country, it cleverly illustrates different satirical situations that make you laugh as well as think about the society we live in. Nawazuddin Siddiqui as Ayyan has to be both submissive and controlling in different situations. He has to behave like a poor assistant who is a chawl dweller as well as plan things ahead as a guy who is secretly conning everyone and he does that brilliantly. No one could have played this role better than Nawaz himself.
Overall, Serious Men marvelously excels in carrying out its motives and brings out a satirical drama that deserves all the praise.
Cast: Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Indira Tiwari, Aakshath Das, Nassar, Shweta Basu.
Director: Sudhir Mishra
Verdict: A must watch.