SHE Review: This Netflix Series Is A Lurid Cheesy Take On Female Sexuality
TV/Streaming Reviews

SHE Review: This Netflix Series Is A Lurid Cheesy Take On Female Sexuality

SHE Review: Exploitative and utterly banal, SHE is definitely not a good watch

  • Movie Name SHE (Netflix)
  • Director Arif Ali, Avinash Das
  • Actor Aditi Pohankar, Vijay Varma, Vishwas Kini
  • Rating
  • Rating 1.5/5 Stars

Rating:* ½ (one and a half stars)

Sample this. The  very gifted Vijay Varma  playing a snazzy sociopath named Sasya is taking an undercover cop Bhumi masquerading as a streetwalker home for a night of ferocious love making. Sorry, there is no other more polite way of putting this in a series that insists on being cheesy. He reaches out and puts his hand in the cop-whore’s skirt and makes a comment on her private part which will make you wince.

The above preamble sets  the  mood for a series that will try so hard to shock you  it just ends up being a pain the  posterior. I liked the idea of a woman cop being exploited by lawmakers and lawbreakers alike, and her determination  to  hold on to her job at any cost as long as she gets her pagaar (wages) to look after her ailing mother and rebellious sister.

The sibling-rivalry bit is well played-out and you can feel the sisters’ resolve to keep their heads above water.
But then, as the series jumps from episode to episode, the camera and  the co-directors conspire to become as  exploitative about their heroine’s  sexuality as the characters  in the series who are like sophisticated vultures gnawing at  Bhumi’s self-worth until she  is left with nothing but her body to see her  across a maze of murky  episodes trying to jostle through a  plot that is as filthy as it is unintentionally funny.

At one unbearable point in the plot Bhumi tries to  seduce her senior Fernandez (Vishwas Kini who looks more like a surly stockbroker than a plainclothed cop) to hold on to her job. “Desperation is not a virtue,”  he reprimands her and then tells to get into the car for some  seriously perverse job-training which  I will  refrain from describing for  the simple reason  that it made no sense to me.

Why is Bhumi  repeatedly put in compromising situations with her seniors and colleagues objectifying  her to the point when she begins look at herself as  nothing but a body ?In a  bizarre sequence in a restaurant she seduces the ogling waiter, takes him to a corner and asks him to touch her.And her response by Sasya when being raped is disturbingly pleasure-filled.

Seriously, Imtiaz Ali? In this era of MeToo restrictions?  Though parts of the plot showing Mumbai’s nightlife does  hold our attention, most of the junk served  up here in the name of  post-feminist  self-actualization is phoney and unbearably  hypocritical.By the  time Bhumi began striking  seductive poses in front of her kid-sister’s  seedy boyfriend, her character and the overall bearing of  the presentation begin to  appear  positively sluttish.

Exactly what is  SHE  trying to say about a workingclass girl’s struggle to stay afloat in a city that knows only how  to commodify the vulnerable? There is  no tenderness or sensitivity in  the  presentation.  The debutante Aaditi Pohankar shows some spark and spunk in her sexually unabashed portrayal  of a woman who realizes  her body is the right tool to manoeuvre her out of a male-manipulated social  order. But  the situations and dialogues she is put into are so tacky as to leave  us feeling  embittered and sickened.

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