darlings review

Alia Bhatt and Shefali Shah

Darlings is about escaping, however fantastically, the agonizing constraints of gender. The lives of most women in Hindi movies end with a wedding. 

Restraint and simplicity mark Darlings, which tells the story of a volatile marriage steeped in neo-noir devices. 

An abusive husband, a wife who lives in hope and the latter's far less forgiving mother are the three principal characters in Darlings, Jasmeet K. Reen's directorial debut.  

The violence-prone man does not recognise his transgressions as something than cannot be pardoned. The victim of domestic violence, too, seems reconciled to her fate.  

It is only the older woman, aware of how such noxious relationships usually turn out, who is of the firm belief that the errant deserves to be put in his place. 

That the Netflix film set in a lower middle-class Muslim-dominated neighbourhood in Mumbai wants to break the mould is made clear in the love song.

Darlings makes no bones about what exactly it is driving at. But it does not seek to make its point in overly simplistic and pat ways. 

Darlings is embellished with fine performances. Alia Bhatt reveals yet again the full range of her natural ability to get into the skin of a character.