Review: ‘Eradane Sala’ is one big time-warp, but with a few brief moments of fun

'Eradane Sala' takes its protagonists through a trail of needless complications that could have been solved with simple conversation.
Review: ‘Eradane Sala’ is one big time-warp, but with a few brief moments of fun
Review: ‘Eradane Sala’ is one big time-warp, but with a few brief moments of fun
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The first thing I had to do after watching Guruprasad’s Eradane Sala was whip out my phone, open up the calendar and reassure myself that I was still in 2017. After all, I had just been through a time warp I was completely unprepared for.

The alarm bells started to ring when an early montage shows among other things, a woman summarily dumping her boyfriend as soon as her marriage to a groom in America is finalised. And the rest of the film, with its numerous double-entendres, its fixed views of men, women and relationships, and it’s troubling understanding of mothers and sons, only confirmed my early apprehensions as the movie progressed.

At the heart of the film are three individuals. There’s the insecure mother (Lakshmi) who worries about being abandoned in an old age home in the near future. There’s a young woman (Sangeetha Bhat) who comes to her house as a guest in need but ends up falling in love with her son. And there’s the son (Dhananjaya) who is torn between his love for the young woman and his promise to his mother not to fall in love with her.

One would expect that the three could sit down and discuss their insecurities and dilemmas like rational adults. But no, instead, the three lead themselves, and us, down a long and winding trail of needless emotional trouble.

To be fair, much of Eradane Sala did not seem to feel so dreary to the audience I watched the film with. Director Guruprasad certainly deserves credit for staying true to the motif of tale narrated on the go to an eager audience. With tangents, rewinds and reworkings, and plenty of film tributes along the way, the tale of the growing romance between Dhananjaya’s and Sangeeta Bhat’s characters has enough pep in it to keep you engrossed for the most part. And while most of the humour was not to everyone’s taste, many members of the audience certainly seemed thoroughly taken with it.

But the tale of the romance brings together one too many cringe-worthy stereotypes and problematic depictions of men and women to fully draw you in. Like the constant attempts by Dhananjaya’s character to get physical in the relationship, or his dismissal of his lover’s sudden tears at one point as the torture given by women. There’s also the time she demonstrates how she’ll lovingly greet her future husband when he returns from work, playing both vamp and goddess for him. And, a bizarre and completely unnecessary sequence involving a “pretend” molestation.

But perhaps what was most troubling about the film is that it still featured a mother and a lover whose lives seem to revolve entirely around one man. Not that we don’t have such unequal relationships around us. But you would think that at least in 2017, at least within the fantasy that is cinema, we could find a little more space for other aspects of women’s lives.  

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