The Great Indian Kitchen (2021) is a mirror to many of the Indian households. The film is sure to leave a lasting impact on the audience, it did for me. Director Jeo Baby deserves credit for building up the mood, though, at the beginning painfully slow, and for giving a fine climax. The film is available on Neestream streaming platform.
It shows intensely on how even today many Indian women spend their time cooking and cleaning the house all day, with the men in the family bossing around told. The first one-hour was difficult to watch – it showed in detail the cooking done by the housewife from the breakfast to the post-dinner cleanup of utensils and kitchen – and it kept repeating this same routine for days in a row. Not wanting to see the cooking and cleaning that she is already familiar every day, my wife decided to move out after the first fifteen minutes, I heard from my friend his wife too did the same. Clearly, the film is made for the men including myself to show the difficulty faced by our wive’s living in a multi-generational family. It also highlights how the older women in the family train the daughter-in-law who come to the family to follow the same patriarchal rules they have been subjected to.
The disgust expressed in her face when she had to clean up the leftovers in the soiled plates of her husband and his father was ultra-realistic. Throughout the film, Nimisha Sajayan who has acted as the wife has given a phenomenal performance. She was supported well by Suraj Venjaramoodu as the Husband. The traditional Kerala house was a perfect setting for the film.
Nearing the climax, there are strong hints on the political rivalries in the state of Kerala around the entry of women to Lord Sabrimala shrine.