After I saw Sharat Kataria’s Dum Lakagake Haisha I immediately sensed he was an important and portentous cinematic voice, meant to take our cinema far ahead. This time again in Sui Dhaga he weaves the dreams desires, destiny and doom of the small-town working class community into a pastiche of struggle and hope.
It is world lined with pain. But won’t give up on laughter. In his directorial debut, Kataria took on body-shaming. His X-L sized heroine ( Bhumi Padnekar) was at peace in her large body even when her husband was ashamed to be seen with a woman so overweight. This is Sharat Kataria’s universe of heroes who don’t emerge from the shadows to claim fame. They remain in the shadows and are happy to be recognized for their ambivalent pride and poorly defined dignity.
In Sui Dhaga he takes on hierarchical humiliation with powerfully drawn characters who exude a sense of self-worth in their state of worthlessness.
Varun Dhawan again in the October spirit, plays Mauji, a tailor who in the absence of financial resources to support his own enterprise works for an employer who repeatedly shames him. Egged on by his quietly stubborn wife Mamta(Anushka Sharma, deglamourized with a purpose she reminded me of Waheeda Rehman in Pyasa) Mauji begins his own tailoring business as he is showered by taunts and disbelief by those all around him.
It is a heart-warming homage to the spirit of self-employment wrung out of the blood and sweat of the working-class. There are no pretences to doing something noble in the characters. Varun Dhawan’s Mauji seems only motivated by his silently supportive wife. It is a blessing to have actors like Varun Dhawan and Anushka coming forward to explore a treatise on self completeness
It is not a glamorous world. But a world we could walk right into wearing our casual chappals, with Varun and Anushka, and come away with emotions that we would find hard to ignore.