Adultery is often the premise for films in the romance or drama genre of movies. It's almost always a plot point for thrillers and suspense films as well. But it's more often than not the physical act of adultery that becomes the focus of the action. 'Shanivaar Ko Do Baje' is a sweet little film, about the other layers of such an intimate act, and the essence of the people involved. Here is our Movie Review.
'Shanivaar Ko Do Baje' examines an act of infidelity, by focusing more on the emotional, than physical.
Rating: 4 Out of 5
The audience is introduced to two people amidst their regular rendezvous, away from their own families. Majority of 'Shanivaar Ko Do Baje' are these two characters, discussing their lives, days and sharing themselves with the other in an emotional way. It's a brilliant way to humanize people engaging in something that otherwise has always been shown as an act of villainy, or only involving people of shaky ethics and a loose moral ideology. Whereas, the reality is much more layered and complicated, as the film tries, and succeeds, in depicting.
This is truly what separates this film from other stories of a similar premise. The man (Parimal Aloke) comes off as a mild mannered person, with a difficult home life, and an overbearing wife. The woman (Nayani Dixit) is the sole provider of her household, while being estranged from her family due to a blemished past.
As the audience, we learn about these two people through their conversations. We learn of their frustrations, hopes, dreams and compromises in life, all in this little apartment, where nothing really happens. The genius of 'Shanivaar Ko Do Baje' is just that; nothing happens. The entire movie is spent with these two characters, but their interactions are so engaging that one never needs any outward action to invest in the story and their lives.
Aloke, who also directed the film, is careful not to weigh down the visuals of just these two characters, and instead breaks up the aesthetic with frames of objects in the apartment. Aloke, and his co-star Dixit, light up the screen with their brutally honest performances that strip down everything that can be expected from an on-screen effort by two actors.
Aloke's performance is quite restraint, with moments of exasperation of a man trapped in a joy-less marriage. While Dixit gets many moments to shine. Dixit plays a woman that is inherently strong and confident, but one whose family life wears her down. One scene of a close up as she voices her loss of hope and life not turning out how she thought is instantly relatable, and heartbreaking at the same time.
'Shanivaar Ko Do Baje' shines when it comes to its writing and dialogue. Written by Surendra Verma, adapted from a play of the same name, the film excels in engaging dialogue between the two characters that pulls the audience in and completely invests them in the lives of these two people. The characters are real, honest and could easily be your next door neighbours.
The film works almost like an analysis of the concept of adultery, without ever encouraging or validating it. There are quiet and subtle moments between the characters, where they acknowledge the moral ambiguity of their actions, without explicitly discussing it. There is also foreboding in this relationship, as both characters also seem to be aware of the fragile nature of these ongoing interludes. So much is said, but so much more is left unsaid, which is a credit to both Aloke and Dixit, having to carry the entire thing with breathtaking performances.
'Shanivaar Ko Do Baje' is an incredibly quiet story about into two people and their involvement in an adulterous relationship, that could even be described as an unconventional love story.