Dun dun dun, I am ready to take on the un-thinkable! I’ve been searching all day online to see if anyone else has done any analyses on this movie just to see what others have understood of this movie. So far, nothing. Anyway, so here’s my take on the movie.
I just want to say that I really did enjoy this movie. It had moments that made me cringe, but that is the kind of movie this is. It has a dark, gloomy and looming feeling. It’s not a suspense or a thriller. It’s a biography of a deeply disturbed woman. The classic story of a femme fatale from beginning to end. Despite being the good-natured person you are, you find yourself rooting for Susanna throughout the movie. Mentally urging her on to kill her next husband and feeling a sigh of relief at the death of her last no-good, waste-of O2 of a husband.
This is the list of her husbands that she marries and kills off, along with their fatal flaw:
1. Edwin Rodrigues (Neil Nitin Mukesh) – The crippled army major who is verbally abusive and overly possessive.
2. Jimmy Stetson (John Abraham) – The musician who steals his music and is a drug addict, along with issues of infidelity.
3. Wasiullah Khan (Irrfan Khan) – The physically abusive poet.
4. Nicolai Vronsky (Aleksandr Dyachenko) – The Russian spy with a second wife and children in Russia.
5. Keemat Lal (Annu Kapoor) – The sex addicted police inspector.
6. Dr. Modhusudhon Tarafdar ( Naseeruddin Shah) – The Bengali doctor who tries to kill her for her money.
What’s that you say? That’s only 6 murders? Wait for it, will you!
At the end of this movie, I’m sure a lot of people walked out thinking “What the hell did I just watch?”
My take on the general theme of this movie is that her husbands, each one of them, embodied one of the 7 deadly sins as seen in Christianity. I haven’t read the original short story (Susanna’s Seven Husbands) by
Ruskin Bond so I’m not sure if the adapted characters in the movie are exactly as he describes them in the book or not. But, as far as the movie goes, each husband was portrayed in such a way that one of the 7 Deadly Sins was embedded into the personality of the character.
1. Edwin is Vanity. He is so proud of being an esteemed Army major that he cannot stand for his wife to do things that he does not approve of. She is required to be a dutiful and submissive wife. She must do as she is told and not argue. His vanity is further proven when Susanna expresses that their problems with conception are not her fault.
2. Jimmy the Musician is Gluttony. Though he is a man of many faults, his drug addiction is what pushes Susanna over the edge to finally murder him.
3. Wasiullah Khan, the poet, is Wrath. I think this one speaks for itself. Despicable. The contrast should be made here that anger is a hot emotion and Wasiullah’s death is by burial in the cold snow.
4. Nicolai is Envy. This one is a little different because the Deadly Sin is not seen in her husband, rather, in Susanna. She envies that he has another wife who has borne him children. I was the saddest about seeing this husband be murdered. I felt he deserved a second chance and that he may have truly loved her. I felt that she didn’t give him enough of a chance to explain himself. By this point of the movie, Susanna had begun to descend in to madness.
5. Inspector Keemat Lal is Lust. Self-explanatory. This is the relationship Susanna was least emotionally invested in. Death by Viagra.
6. Finally, Dr. Modhusudhon is Greed. Also, self-explanatory. Death by Russian Roulette.
The final sin that we’re missing here is Despair. Susanna is Despair throughout the movie and it is despair that leads her to become a nun at the end of the movie. Based on the overall theme of the movie, I think it is safe to conclude that the 7th murder is of her old self. The Susanna that searched high and low to find a partner to share her life with and be complete with. The death of her faithful maid in the fire goes hand in hand with this because it was Susanna’s Despair that caused her to light the fire. The skeleton of her maid was used to prove that Susanna had died in the fire.
Naseeruddin Shah and Neil Nitin Mukesh did a great job in this movie. Of course, Priyanka Chopra as well. Not an easy job to play the anti-heroine of a movie.
I felt that there was a lot of the movie that was left up to the audience to figure out and I would’ve liked a little more detail on Susanna and her motives. I would’ve liked to see this movie be done backwards. Starting from the ending of her becoming a nun to the last murder and moving into the first murder and at the very end of the movie, explaining her childhood and the loss of her parents and how that affected her psychologically. That would’ve made a better and more conclusive movie to watch. Even better, maybe completely chop up the movie into bits and show a scene of Susanna talking to one husband, then walking down the aisle with another, then listening to poetry from another, then killing another, and finally ending the movie with somehow tying it all together and making sense of it. That way, the audience would figure it out and watch the movie a second time knowing what to look for and to get a full understanding of it. Still, a good effort but there was much room for improvement. This movie definitely hasn’t done well at the Box Office because you can’t expect people to get such a detailed understanding from this movie by just watching it. However, it will definitely go down in the books as a commendable effort by Priyanka Chopra.