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The Great Indian Kitchen: Mirroring the reality of our society with subtlety

There is something wrong when parents ask the daughter to fetch some water instead of the son

The Great Indian Kitchen: Mirroring the reality of our society with subtlety
The Great Indian Kitchen review: Bitchingfilms

The Great Indian Kitchen

Director: Jeo Baby
Writer: Jeo Baby
Starring: Suraj Venjaramoodu, Nimisha Sajayan

Available on: Neestream

One line movie summary

A film that flaunts the hideous truth of patriarchy and misogyny in our daily lives

About: The Great Indian Kitchen

Released on a Malyali OTT platform called NeeStream, in January 2021, this film has a simple yet effective storyline. Writer and Director Jeo Baby has done a tremendous job in mirroring the reality of almost all households from every nook and corner of our country.


The film revolves around the story of a newly married woman who tries to be the ideal daughter-in-law and a wife and in that process how she loses her own identity, her individuality but at the end manages to break free from the chain of a patriarchal mindset.


The film opens with a sequence of Nimisha Sajayan dancing happily and passionately. She seems to enjoy her life to the fullest and the next sequence shows her being married off to Suraj Venjaramood. In the entire first half of the film, her daily chores are showcased which mostly include cooking, cleaning, managing the house, satisfying her husband's needs, more cooking, more cleaning, more managing the house, more satisfying his needs, and so on. At one point, it becomes extremely frustrating to watch her do the work, day in and day out.

The cinematographer has aptly captured her suffocation by showing the audience long montages and long shots of her working in the kitchen, cutting vegetables, cleaning the floors, washing the clothes, packing tiffin for her husband, cleaning the table cloth, and washing the utensils after her husband and her father in law eat. These long shots truly encapsulate the average life of more than half the women in our country.

Her husband is a school teacher with a fragile ego who has been taught that a woman's place is in the kitchen and she is not supposed to go out and earn. He is shown to be teaching the kids about "Family" and values which captures the irony with such subtlety. Some of their scenes together are so nuanced that they do not even require dialogue to convey the message.
Women in this film are either shown to be victims of patriarchy or someone who supports patriarchy which is sad but at the same time, it's the perfect reflection of our society. Patriarchy has become so normalized that we do not even realize that it has become an integral part of us knowingly or unknowingly.

One of the best things about this movie is the fact that the actions of the characters deliver the message rather than words. Moreover, the noises from the kitchen act as the background music which makes it a realistic experience. Also, the fact that none of the characters has been assigned any name makes it relatable to everyone.
I would recommend everyone to watch this underrated gem of a movie. It will make your brain churn out of sheer frustration and suffocation and one might feel claustrophobic. But it is an important issue to be addressed and Joe Baby has done it with such beauty.

I must say regional cinema is killing it. Kudos to the creators.

This movie is going to stay with me for a long time!!! 

Son: Mom, give me some water.

Mom to daughter: Bring him some water!

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