Darlings Review | An Absorbing Black Comedy With Top-Notch Performances

Domestic abuse and abusive relationships have been the subject of many movies in recent times, and Jasmeet’s Reen’s Darlings gives it a completely different take on a black comedy. While the structure in totality is somewhat predictable, the film cleverly maneuvers into those obscure areas of a problematic relationship without losing its bizarre texture. With each artist adding their best to the table, Darlings is entertaining and disturbing.

Badrunnisa alias Badru is married to Hamza. He is a railway TC who is an alcoholic and has been abusing Hamza Badru for the last three years since his marriage. He always abstains from any act when he justifies his violent act in the name of love. The film talks about the events that happen in Badru’s life when Hamza’s behavior forces him to take a bold decision. We see in Darlings what Badru did with the help of his mother Shamshunissa and her close friend Zulfi.

Jasmeet’s Reen knows somewhere that this topic will not give him any grace marks because we have seen effective movies on similar subjects in the past. So the focus is on constantly developing engaging scripts that address every angle of an abusive relationship. If any of you have witnessed an abusive relationship, one thing we all must have noticed is the manipulative power of the abuser to hold the other person in the relationship. More than the abuse, this manipulative mindset made Hamza a distinct personality. Every feature in an abusive relationship is addressed within the framework of a black comedy.

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Alia Bhatt was as excellent as ever in her character. Badru’s forgiving character trait was portrayed beautifully by him. In terms of characterization and scope, I think Shefali Shah got a more meaty character, and the chemistry between the mother and daughter was a lot of fun to watch. Vijay Varma was brilliant as the manipulative and unforgiving Hamza. Roshan Mathew, as the scared Julfi, gets a decent place in the second half of the film, and it takes us a while to understand the importance of that character. Rajesh Sharma and Vijay Maurya are the other two prominent names in the star cast.

The writing divides the film into two areas. In the first, we see how centuries-old patriarchal norms make things easier for the abuser to quickly get away with. In the second, it is punishment. There comes a pivotal moment in the film’s climax when the mother agrees with the daughter when she talks about a potential lifelong trauma. This idea not only gives additional layers of understanding to the film but also makes us feel that Darlings is way beyond a tale of revenge alike. In the last quarter of its runtime, Darlings has a lot going on. We sometimes see the film slipping through the black comedy zone to engage deeply with the central characters. Some Priyadarshan films like Bhram were very cleverly written in that era, making everything practically possible.

The quality of behavior and performance give Darlings a unique place in the category of films addressing domestic abuse. With dark humor that never dilutes the seriousness of the central theme, Darlings is an interesting film that works in totality. One dialogue that stuck with me was that of Shefali Shah’s character when the inspector suggests divorce as a solution. She says this is a solution only for those on Twitter. And the majority is still struggling in a just society.

final thoughts

The quality of behavior and performance give Darlings a unique place in the category of films addressing domestic abuse.


Green: Recommended film

Orange: OK, Watchable, Experimental Movies

red: not recommended

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