Serious Men is a movie that tells a satirical story and does it well. It keeps the theme and plots simple while delivering on the quality. Based on Manu Joseph’s novel of the same name, the book feels original and fresh. That thought process seeps in beautifully in the movie adaptation as well. In this Serious Men movie review, we are going to discuss whether you should stream it or skip it.
Serious Men – Movie Review
Judging from the trailer, it’s easy to ascertain that the movie will have its quips, puns, and satire on Indian parenting culture. It delivers in that and delightfully so. In an industry where being loud, brash and stylish is the goal, Serious Men offers a much needed respite from it.
Serious Men, at its core, is about Ayyan Mani, a BDD/Bombay Chawl Tamilian decent guy who works as a PA to a reputed scientist (Nassar) at a research institute. Mani is the first-generation educated and rich. He in turn is pinned his hopes of getting more societal mobility on his son. Mani is overbearing and narcissistic, which is what Indian parenting styles come off as rather than one based on pure love.
Mani considers himself the protagonist of the story and he knows that his child is the only ticket he has to gain more in this material world. So he lifts his son like Simba but the sunlight doesn’t exist, so he makes one for his child. The son played by Aakshath Das is a revelation on screen and a wonderful performer at this age itself. As for his character, revealing much would just give the movie away.
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Serious Men boasts of a seriously good cast, especially Indira Tiwari playing Mani’s wife. The movie is tight and perfect. It touches on every topic from Dalit politics to passionate parenting and manages to do it justice. It is able to pull off heavy subjects by not being preachy but with the help of mature and subtle satire.
For example, in a scene, Ayyan Mani delivers bombastic lectures and speeches on stuff he doesn’t even get. But he’s loud and convincing so the crowd accepts it. In fact, the way Ayyan dresses is reminiscent of a famous news anchor- that tie, rimmed glasses, parted hair, and the suit will surely remind the audience of him.
Here’s another one- The science in the movie focuses on the possibility of microbes existing beyond our atmosphere, because this would prove that there’s life present outside of earth. The reaction of Indian TV-news crews to this is interesting.
They are all standing outside the institute and covering the story looking excited. This is definitely a satire because news media being excited over scientific discoveries rather than cheap news that will give them the clicks is sort of incomprehensible in this era.
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If you are coming in to see the movie expecting some sort of payoff in the way traditional Bollywood cinema gives you, then that won’t work. As you might have gleaned from this Serious Men movie review, that the film is just a device to explore various issues in a very intelligent manner. It is well crafted and as for Nawazuddin Siddique, he is a miracle worker.
Whether it is Lunchbox or his recent Raat Akeli Hai, the man can do anything easily. Here too he brings his charm and clever dialogue delivery to a very intelligent script.
What we can tell you in this Serious Men movie review is that if you are looking for laughs and a self-aware movie that pokes at the power and explores caste and politics of every day, then give this movie a go. Also, if you trust that Nawazuddin would never let you done then let Netflix have your view.