Hello, I'm back to watching truly terrible Hindi serials. Why am I like this ?
Anyway , this time I'm watching Silsila and this is my review /take / word vomit inspired by it.
First off, kudos to ALL of the actors of the show. Each of them portray the characters they are amazingly, and with superb conviction.
Also I think it's great that they're trying to address an issue that's as complex , as it is common today - Extra marital affairs .
That said , I hope this show does not derail into a stereotypical - abla Naari, main bechari patni type . I honestly don't think it will. So far , in fact, Silsila has in many ways broken many of the stereotypes you'd associate with EMA narratives .
Mouli is far from the helpless ,lost ,bewildered much abused , take all abuse wife , and Nandhini is no super vamp that lures the man away with her seductive moves and slinky outfits. If anything , the roles are reversed . It is the mistress Nandhini who is lost, confused and has taken years of abuse. To his credit , Kunal isn't the usual hero who is a power hungry chauvinist pig . Or , this has been the case so far.
In fact , as far as plot holes and narratives go , Silsila does a pretty reasonable job. Are there impossible moments at times? Yes . But then again, show me any one Hindi soap that is all logic .
Coming to the affair and the EMA itself . For me , there are no two ways . What Nandhini and Kunal did was wrong. Period . I completely understand falling out of love with someone , and in love with someone else. It is ugly , horrible , painful and unfortunately true . I can understand , even if I don't approve of Kunal and Nandhini falling in love . Yes , often you don't get to choose who you love , when it happens or even how . What you can do however , is choose how you react to it . Choose how you express that love . Kunal could have had an honest conversation with Mouli , got a divorce , waited a decent time and then taken up with Nandhini .
Right now , he seems to enjoy the respect that a married man receives , while indulging in his EMA. A having a cake, and eating it too situation.
As for the why , and the how of the affair . The story is actually remarkably well told. You can see the shift in the Kunal- Mouli - Nandhini dynamics . For Kunal , who is now unemployed ( by choice , as that may be) Nandhini's reliance on him , her need for him, reasserts his masculine pride , and his male ego. LET'S GET THIS CLEAR , IT DOES NOT JUSTIFY HIS AFFAIR . I'm just looking at the how / why . With Nandhini he feels dominant , male , the provider , and the ego boost that comes with it .
Like Mouli herself says , she is the very opposite of Nandhini . And now that she is the sole bread winner , she in essence is the man of the house . Yes , she is working for Kunal's dream , but it's one he does not realise . Perhaps with Mouli , Kunal feels less like " the man" that society determines he should be . He depends on her , and on the other hand , Mouli has an identity and a life that is entirely free of him.
Again, this is not giving them permission , but looks at the reasons of how this happened.
For Nandhini, in many ways this illicit relationship with Kunal ,is the first normal and semi healthy relationship she has. Bear in mind that she has just barely broken free from an extremely abusive relationship, and has just found her feet, and her sense of self.
Do Kunal and Nandhini love each other ? I honestly don't know. Both of them are in a very vulnerable place ,and are certainly drawn to each other. For Kunal it is certainly lust, and physical attraction. On Nandhini 's side I'd say there is a lot of admiration and almost hero worship. Almost a rebound. In Kunal she sees a hero , a saviour. Both of them I suspect , are in love with an idea of a person, more than the reality of them. Kunal loves the idea of a woman who needs him, will cater to his every whim and imagined need. Nandhini is in love with Kunal the husband , the man she sees with Mouli and , is in love with their relationship, more than the man himself.
Mouli's greatest failure , and one she acknowledges herself , is her determination to avoid confronting what she suspected, and perhaps instinctively knew. Like she says , she chose to turn a blind eye and a deaf ear , when those near to her pointed out the illicit nature of their relationship. Perhaps because she wasn't ready to hear it.
Regarding the confrontation. I for one ,loved it. Mouli has so far been shown as a strong, firey,independent woman. To reduce her to a weeping, screaming , slapping woman on the road, would not be true to her character .
In the first place , she's in shock, and the eyes and ears she chose to shut out, are being forced open in front of her. I thought her breakdown at the mandap showcased her state of mind beautifully. Her world has been shaken , and turned upside down .
When she dresses in the saree, let's be clear SHE IS NOT TRYING TO IMPRESS KUNAL. In her confused, lost state of mind, she's trying to , scrambling to , make sense of her worst nightmare. Each of us reacts differently to traumatic situations , some shake and tremble in silence , some use words and wit. By donning the saree and dressing like Nandhini , the writers perhaps try to drive home the reality of Kunal's actions.
And the fact that later in the scene she realises , that the saree or mask of Nandhini does not fit her (Mouli's) personality is amazingly portrayed.
Her anguish and pain , especially come through when she rips off the earrings , unmindful of the pain. On one level she's blank, emotionally dead , and on the other she wants desperately to find reason and logic , in a situation that has none.
Nandhini is portrayed as the sort , who accepts the fate she is given , unquestioningly. Not so ,Mouli , for her this betrayal is not fate , but a deliberate act by the people she loved and trusted most in the world. It for her , raises fundamental questions - about who she is , her marriage and the very ideas of love . Right now, her anger is not yet come out , she's looking desperately for answers.
Silsila is not a story of right and wrong and black and white , it is about the shades of grey ,that life is . Or at least I hope it doesn't deteriorate to a moralistic, judgemental preachy show. Right now, it examines human relationships, and the vulnerabilities and failings of every person . As audience , it demands an intelligent, thinking , mature group and not the average run of the mill , star struck everyday drama group.
Edited by IndianFariyTale - 14 September 2018 at 11:30am