If you look at Ammu, the whole packaging of this film in terms of story, it reminds you of three films – The Great Indian Kitchen, Thappad, and Darlings.
The look and feel of it resembles The Great Indian Kitchen mostly because of the way some solo scenes of Ammu are shot in the film including the lighting. The scenes where she is frustrated but keeps working to divert her mind keeps bringing back the memories of both the films, The Great Indian Kitchen and Thappad (remember the scenes where Amu starts arranging the furniture after being slapped by her husband or the scene where she is shown aggressively taking off the bedsheet?). When it speaks about violence and then revenge, it becomes a mix of Thappad and Darlings.
But yes, the writer and director of Ammu, Charukesh Sekar has tried his best to give the story a different twist by bringing in another criminal in the picture – only to drastically fail at this plot twist.
What’s The Story Of Ammu?
Ammu is about a girl whose marriage with a cop suddenly turns abusive. While all looks hunky-dory during the honeymoon phase, one afternoon, when Ammu doesn’t take lunch for Ravi to the police station, everything from his tone of voice to the way he treats her changes. Unfortunately, it doesn’t change for a few hours. It changes forever. Though it starts with behavioural changes, it soon becomes abusive where hitting Ammu becomes a routine for Ravi.
Immediately after Ravi slaps Ammu, she tells her mother about it who asks her to do what her heart tells her to do. After walking out one day, Ammu decided to return to her husband as she feels that all he needs is more love. That would change things between the couple and Ravi would soon be a changed man. As you know, that never happens.
Now here, I see a missed opportunity. The story from here could have differentiated itself from other films that have spoken about domestic violence by diving deep into a woman’s psyche and emotions. To an extent, the films even tried. Without diving deep into it, the film quickly moved on from suffering to the revenge plot.
Even as a woman, I would have loved to watch what makes women stay in an abusive relationship? Most of the time, the abuser is so smart that he ‘dismantles’ the woman mentally. She is either always afraid that the husband would do something unpleasant when it comes to her self-respect or she is scared that his next target would be her life, not just her body. Most of these women are also victims of marital rape. Now, when it comes to the bedroom, women do not speak up. This further breaks them and their self-confidence. Once you are broken mentally, physically, and emotionally, you are trapped. This is why women cannot stand up and fight for themselves even when they have supportive family and friends.
In case of Ammu, she had the police force supporting her. But here is where it took the Darlings turn – Here is when Ammu backs out and then decides to take revenge. All of it was ok till here except the speed at which the movie was moving. Then they introduced Prabhu and confused everyone – from Ammu to Prabhu and the audience. You can never make out what the lady wants in her life. As a revenge, she wants her husband to lose her job and that is when she will divorce him. How does that plan make sense? Ravi is a psycho. His abusive nature has nothing to do with his job. In fact, on the job, he comes up with ideas like having volunteers from the common public to stop abuse against women. Such ideas make him a hero. While patrolling, when Ammu’s neighbour hears a woman scream, she investigates every house except Ravi’s. No one even doubts his character. So, how can Ravi losing his job help Ammu in any way?
Much later, she records his confession and then that acts as evidence against him but what was her original plan? Ravi losing his job? And even if she is a victim, how does she justify hiding a criminal in her backyard? Is she not answerable to the system? In any case, she could have simply walked up to the police and asked for help. She always had that option.
The plot twist that should have made you fall in love with the writing and also, the film actually makes you wonder what made you watch Ammu for so long.
All I see here is a missed opportunity, honestly. Disappointed!
Streaming On: Prime Video
Looks promising film.