Not everybody wants to be in a kitchen that has more problems and less love.
What does your mind picturize when I say, “The Great Indian Kitchen”? Lip smacking food, daunting female caretakers, clean households, the lady is serving food and fulfilling the needs of guests or something else?
Do we even know what it takes for a person to give this kind of full-time service to everyone in the house? And do we even care about the lady in the house?
It obviously makes you believe why many women left their jobs during pandemic, because obviously creches were closed, in-laws as well as spouse (in some cases) became demanding and hence, it became too difficult for them to maintain work-life balance.
In this movie, both female and male protagonists had an arranged marriage setup and there is no problem in the beginning. But with time, the lady’s slight adjustments became a problem later.
Those slight adjustments were not made for a few days; it was rather constantly becoming an everyday affair. And the workload kept piling with each passing day. It’s not that family didn’t know what could make a person’s life easier, but they just did it because that was their comfort zone and expect that the lady in the house should be in full submissive mode.
The creators of the movie are trying to address a problem that is – ” Women has to do it all.” But at the cost of what?
When the woman decides to follow her dream. And for that, she has to take approval of her spouse and in-laws. But this is not what authority approves of, and the authority in the system keeps demanding all comforts for the entire household.
There is no problem when authority tries to suggest a thing. But it becomes utterly disgraceful when authority decides what you must do and what you should not only to save the old family legacy despite being aware of the fact that world has progressed tremendously.
Obviously, after a certain point, what was fun before feels like a burden to the lady and one is forced to make a tough decision of divorce.
The Great Indian Kitchen perfectly captures the most annoying and dramatic part of every Indian Kitchen and could have been only captured via filmography and not via random discussions. (Ps: you don’t have to agree to everything the creators are trying to explain here.)
But what happens to the lady after she walks out of the place?
She finds her new peace and follows her dreams. Although the man did get married for the second time but now understands how responsibly he must treat his new lady.
It’s not that only a woman goes through the entire saga. It is a story of the system where one has to say ‘yes’ to the authority and ‘no’ to everything that is not suitable for the system. Here, Authority believes this is how the system must work, no matter how much sacrifices a man/woman has to make in the process.
At the same time, let’s not make this very obvious thing that happens in every Indian household, the world is changing, and so is India at a very fast pace
You need to set an example in a family by trying different things but still respect your authority because they are meant to be respected.
And now the Great Indian Kitchen has both man and women working in the Kitchen together. There is mutual respect for their profession as well. Yes, overnight success is impossible, but slowly and steadily, people are being educated on how a woman can contribute to society. Last but not the least, there are many things that have to change in the background to make women’s lives easier and thereby help in breaking the stereotype and shattering the glass ceiling effect.
The Great Indian Kitchen is a 2021 Indian Malayalam-language drama film written and directed by Jeo Baby.