Disclaimer: The following article contains spoilers from the film Sherni. 

Vidya Balan’s Sherni, directed by Amit V. Masurkar, recently released on Amazon Prime Video and has already become a crowd favorite. On the face of it, Sherni is a film that attacks capitalism and senseless human encroachment.

But, the real beast the film attacks and exposes is the misogyny and patriarchy that afflicts our society today. 

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But while mansplaining, and being judged for your gender and not your qualifications, are some of the ‘usual suspects’ of misogyny, the film also highlights that motherhood, or becoming a parent should be a choice, not an obligation. And it certainly does not have to be the *only* choice. 

Vidya’s mother and mother-in-law visit her as a surprise and then waste no time in asking for grandchildren. 

However, most, if not all, of their remarks are directed at Vidya alone. Her husband tries to shoulder some of the comments but he isn’t exactly the receiving end for them. 

But, when Vidya’s mother directly asks her to have kids, she is quick to clarify that she has no intention of becoming a mother. And that’s when, like most Indian parents, her mother immediately asks her about her future. 

Vidya’s response is the perfect answer to that question. 

Contrary to popular belief, married couples, and women, have the right to imagine a future that does not necessarily revolve around having children. 

The idea that motherhood is every woman’s calling, or that every married couple needs a child to ‘complete the family’ is a flawed notion rooted in patriarchy. Because women are not born in this world simply to give birth. And having a child is not the only way to have a family. 

Masurkar deserves complete credit for incorporating and highlighting the salient issues that afflict our society. And much like Newton, in Sherni too, Masurkar paints the world with subtlety and deftness, that makes it impossible to miss the point he is trying to make – even though it’s not thrust in your face like many filmmakers tend to do.

All images from Amazon Prime Video, unless specified otherwise.