Vidya Balan is undoubtedly one of the most promising actresses in today’s time. Over the years, she has given us films such as Kahaani and more and left us spell-bound with her acting skills. She already proved her mark as an actress, and now she is back in the film industry as a producer. And Natkhat is the first venture.
If you want to know what Natkhat is all about, you need to know the quote, “Learning begins at home.” And that’s what Natkhat is all about. This 33-minute short film aims to help people become aware of how the values we learn at home shape us as human beings.
In today’s world, where values are considered old-fashioned, people tend to forget its empathetic impact. It is the values we learn that shape us and help us grow and become what we are. Natkhat was featured in MAMI and was a part of the four Indian short films at the festival, the compilation of which is known as “We Are One.” The film shows the impact of patriarchy and how it can damage the entire being.
Natkhat has a very compelling story background which centers around a little boy, played by Sanika Patel and Vidya Balan. The story revolves around how harmless mischief can soon turn into horrifying bullying.
While returning from school, the little boy witnesses a group of young boys involved in doubtful activities. Having witnessed the disturbing incident, the boy runs home to the loving embrace of his mother.
Soon, Vidya Balan takes the front seat at the dining table when she becomes the center of attention for her son. Balan is seen serving food to her father-in-law, husband, and young brother-in-law as an ideal Indian wife. The short-film brings about the reality of how men perceive the dealing of independent women. They bring up the concept of “boys will be boys” of how things start from small matters to pulling the girl’s hair to later beating the wife.
Is Balan the ideal Bahu?
Balan’s bahu is a reminisce of every Indian housewife. The story rightly brings out how gendered we can become. It shows the patriarchal truth of society. It clearly shows the combination of how torchered wives choose to remain silent, despite knowing that they can break down shackles of patriarchy. One voice can bring down the entire generation of patriarchy and they remain silent while watching the other generation getting torchered.
The story of Natkhat brings out the hard-hitting truth of the male dominated Indian rural society. The cycle of unbroken violence puts light on a lot of things. The story may seem as a connection to the mother-son story but the unsettling truth leaves out quivers down the spine yet maintaining the soothing touch.
Natkhat aired yesterday on YouTube and has garnered praises from everyone. The powerful dominance and truth leaves back a lot for the audience to analyse. Honestly, Natkhat should be turned to a full-fledged film, but I personally feel that some things should be left as they are. Go watch the film to know if Balan breaks the shackles of patriarchal society and whether the boy too is a product of patriarchy or unlearns what the society has bound the boys to all these years.