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Gargi on SonyLIV: A powerful drama that emphasises a potential abuser could be someone we know and love

A fantastic Sai Pallavi carries a remarkable story about people, their deeds, and repercussions in Gargi, directed by Gautham Ramachandran of Richie-fame.

Gargi on SonyLIV: A powerful drama that emphasises a potential abuser could be someone we know and love
Sai Pallavi in a still from Gargi
  • S Subhakeerthana

Last Updated: 08.19 AM, Aug 16, 2022

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Sai Pallavi is forging her path. And her most recent release, Gargi, which is now available on SonyLIV, demonstrates this. Gautham Ramachandran's Tamil film is about child sexual abuse and bringing the perpetrators to justice. Gargi, directed by Gautham Ramachandran, is unusual in two ways: it is financially supported by a woman (actor Aishwarya Lekshmi) and led by a woman, Sai Pallavi.

Gargi is a schoolteacher from a lower-middle-class family trying to make ends meet. Gautham Ramachandran captures the mundane life she leads in an unassuming and simple fashion, as it is in reality. She has a marriage partner, and he is "good" enough not to demand a dowry.

Everything was fine until Gargi's father Brahmanandam (RS Shivaji) did not return home one night. He is employed as a watchman in a gated community. Gargi's life is turned around when she learns that her father, along with five others, has been arrested for allegedly raping a minor at his workplace. Gargi ventures out at night, thinking that she can fix everything before sunrise. Nevertheless, the law takes its route. In desperation, she heads home. 

The next day, Brahmanandam's face is all over the news. Gargi is fired from her teaching position at the school, and her family is shunned. But she seriously thinks her dad was innocent and wants to prove that he is wrongly imprisoned in the case. As all possibilities for Gargi were indeed exhausted, Indrans (Kaali Venkat), a part-time advocate and pharmacist, steps in to support. 

Indeed, the film almost convinces us of Brahmananda's innocence at one point by revealing that it was he who stopped Gargi's tuition teacher from sexually abusing her when she was a child. The script has been tightly written, and the audience is never distracted. Govind Vasantha's music adds drama and emotion to the scenes. Aishwarya Lekshmi, the film's producer, also plays a small role, as a journalist who is compelled to pay attention to TRPs rather than logic. The casting of Sudha, a transgender person, as a transgender judge in Gargi is one of the movie's high points. One of the few and rare instances in Tamil cinema where a transgender person is shown to have empathy, command, authority and power: all in one. 

Child sexual abuse is a major issue all over the world, including in India. Everyone must be aware of the problem and how to deal with it. Overall, the film accomplishes its goal of delivering the message, "Sometimes you have to do the right thing even if you lose." Gargi reinstates that mostly sexually abused children, are aware of their abuser. And, worst, abuse is typically perpetrated by someone who has a trusting relationship with the child, such as an uncle, van driver, caretaker, or even a senior in school.

Sai Pallavi, in an interview with a leading English daily, stated that the concept of Gargi is something to which everyone can relate. "It's a film about the struggles of a woman who isn't sure where her life is going."

The Virata Parvam actress, further, stated that she chooses films that speak to her on a personal level. "I read a script and react to it as if I were a regular viewer. I won't accept a film that doesn't immediately connect with me, just as filmmakers can't sit down with the audience to persuade them of their ideologies."

(Gargi streams on SonyLIV)

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