Wednesday, August 19, 2015

What the Director wanted the audience to see- Double Seat

The central theme of the story is to make one believe in himself/herself. To take that leap of faith into the unknown. A new house is that metaphor. How a young, newly wed couple along with their family takes that leap of faith.

Straddling through fear and an ambitious dream, the young couple take that leap of faith only to be pulled back by an insolvency of a local pathpedhi (a Non-banking financial corporation- like a credit society) in the process losing all their savings. The director wishes to draw attention towards these sorts of institutions. Though they are under the RBI rules, lack of desirable financial reporting make them vulnerable to non-transparency and frauds. A case in point being the CKP Co-operative bank in Mumbai & Thane or the Pen Co-operative bank in Khopoli (Maharashtra).

When the head of the house, their father comes to know about the intent of the couple to buy a house, he feels intimidated by the magnanimous thought leading him to not believe in the leap of faith of his children. Relationships these days are based on material possession and the director makes his point when the character Amit says that he was rejected by 7 prospective girls after seeing his dilapidated house whereas Manjiri, who is his wife now, saw the person in him.

Manjiri’s character is well-etched out. Rooted in traditional upbringing, she adjusts to the city life like a fish takes to water. Turning a snide remark by a neighbour (I don’t want insurance policy) into an opportunity to make her sales pitch (as an insurance agent), she shows perfect presence of mind. When they see their dream coming apart, she takes the lead to pacify her husband and in-laws and gives them confidence to try again. And that he should hold his head high for the efforts. She sums it well when she says that if we have been forced to take two steps back, it will help more in our efforts to catapult (like a high-jumper) into our dream.

The director wishes to show the life of an honest police-hawaldar (lowest in the police hierarchy) to manage in Rs. 12000 (USD 200) monthly salary. When asked whether he indeed does not take bribe, he feels pain to say that he has to justify that he is honest. This rubs off on Amit who rejects a proposal to buy a shanty (hut) in an area which is proposed for re-development by a builder. These two are much nuanced moments showing the society a mirror.

Amit’s mother is a balanced lady who understands her duties as a mother, wife and a mother-in-law. She gives the young couple privacy, stands by her husband and shows confidence in his son’s and daughter-in-law’s ability. Amit’s father acknowledges towards the end of the movie that he did not change his perspective with time. A lesson to all of us to find that balance between needs and wants.

Lastly, in this day and age of nuclear families, having your father and mother together can be so much helpful to take a leap of faith. Double-seat shows this well. 

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