Jul 22

What is the impact of a movie like Sairat?

impact-of-sairat-movieIf you are an Indian living in India (or not), you have seen this movie (or surely heard about it) – Sairat.* Well, unless you were living under a rock. In that case – hello, hello – welcome to our world. 🙂

(*Okay, I know – exaggeration. But it was a hugely popular movie.)

Sairat is a Marathi movie which released quite some time back (in Feb), but I only got to it last month. And ever since then, the visual of the climax has not left my mind. It has alternatively made me upset and angry – very very angry!

And here is the thing – I knew going in that this was not going to be a joy ride,  but still – that ending – the child witnessing that awful scene…it broke my heart. And I am possibly overly sensitive, but I just couldn’t deal with it. It still haunts me!

I know the world is cruel, and everything is not rainbows and fairies, okay, I get that.

But there is enough shit that we go through in our everyday lives. And then there is the NEWS  (which is never good news these days!). Why then do we need a movie like this? Why?

Some people may say that it is a reflection of the society, and this raises awareness. Okay, this I actually agree with. Honestly, I do. But awareness is one thing.

How does this change anything? It makes people like you and me angry and upset with the world, yes. It also makes us question the principles of humanity and natural justice. But that’s just us. We wouldn’t have ever been the ones doing this awful crime in the first place. We would have always been against it – Sairat or not.

Coming to the ones who are actually doing such honor killings – will these people see this movie and have a change of heart? No. Of course not. If the death murder of a loved one doesn’t alter their narrow minded, egocentric existence, a cinematic production is most certainly not going to do that.

So then, what does a movie like Sairat really do? Except make the majority of the living populace angry, upset, and discontent.

And this is not a rhetorical question. I truly want to know what you guys think. The thing is – I need closure. And just mulling over this in my mind is not helping.

What do you guys think? Did you see the movie? If yes, do share your thoughts and views about the climax. I would love to read, what, according to you guys, is the impact of a movie like Sairat?




  1. Well, the answer lies in the post itself Shantala. The climax haunted you to the extent that you were forced to do something about it. I havent seen the movie but can imagine what u r saying. The intent is not to awaken the conscience of an evil person here, the intent is to awaken the good samaritan so that they do something about the evil happening around us in what ever little way they can. If u hadnt seen the movie, i can safely say that i would not be reading this review too, right?
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    • True, Nidhi.

      It’s just that I was overwhelmed by a feeling of helplessness when I finished watching this one. But many people have commented saying that this movie has indeed triggered a positive change in some, albeit on a small scale. In one case, things took a turn for the worse after seeing this movie. But you can’t win them all.

      I feel that even if it positively impacts one human life, it is all worth it.
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  2. I haven’t watched the film yet, but it’sa massive hit in India, Maharashtra to be specific. I stopped myself from finding about the end as I hope to see the film, and your blog post has just piqued my curiosity further. Btw, did you know that the heroine of the film, Rinku, is only 15 years old, and went back to school to write her board exams post the release?

  3. First up I haven’t seen Sairat. But I do know the gist of it. I really have no idea why anyone would make such a film. Maybe the film-makers just wanted to document what is happening around us. Or to create awareness. Or maybe they wanted people to get upset and do something about it. I really don’t know. What is even more puzzling is why it became such a huge hit – it must have struck some kind of a chord with people.
    Also, people outside Maharashtra might not have heard of the film at all, it is only here that it is so crazily hyped.
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  4. *Here is my experience about the impact of Sairat.
    I saw Sairat in a single screen theater with my uncle. It was late night show. Theater was house full even in third week. We watched movie in third class due to unavailability of tickets. That was the only theater screening Sairat. It is worst theater in my city. There was noticable amount of female audience in (third class too) theater. Few (5 to 6) drunk people were passing abusive comments in the middle of show. Some comments were harmless but some were really offensive comments about Archi, few were vulgar too. They must have watched movie more than once. Most comments came from their sympathy towards Parshya and hatred towards Prince. I realised hatred for women in few of their comments about Archi. But when Archi and Parshya started fighting they remained silent. All of them left theater as soon as Prince visits Archi saying “it’s worst scene, just leave.” I could not enjoy movie but I learned something. Most people were silent but few were saying “aisa nahi karna chahiye tha”.
    *Sorry for my bad English.

  5. Hi, Your post is thought provoking. My idea of watching a movie is to take my mind off the daily grind and to refresh. For me to watch a movie which is hard hitting and upsetting needs a lot of will power and convincing. At the same time, I would not enjoy watching a movie which is made without a script or with amateur stupid direction. My idea is that there is a set of audience who like watching truism (just like a set of people who watch maybe a big boss- i have never understood what could be so interesting in watching people behave brattily for days together!) and it must also be a sort of documentation to look back on in the future, when hopefully we would have moved away from such atrocities. And just maybe it is made for that one person, who gets so influenced that they create a change in the world! Any which way, thanks for saving my three hours!

  6. Actually, this movie has been such a runaway hit especially in the rural areas that it is quite phenomenal. The other day I read an article written by a Marathi journalist. He talked about how Sairat is in everyone’s conversation these days. He mentioned a chat he recently had with an auto driver. The driver told him that his sister eloped with her lover from another caste. And he did went looking to kill them both with his friends but could not locate them. After seeing this movie, he wants to reach out and mend ties with his sister. It was a heartening story. And I think this is what the movie set out to do. It is talking to those sections of society who indulge in these kinds of behaviour. Its main protagonists were so real and believable unlike the glossy heroes and heroines of Bollywood. While the movie disturbed me for days, it also brought to light a still prevalent issue in our society. I think the movie was a job well done!
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  7. Lata Sunil says:

    I am yet to see Sairat. But I know that it is about honour killing and has a terrible end. I cannot fathom the honour killing aspect at all. But, movies like this is a way to increase awareness and change people’s attitudes. Isn’t it also similar to Qayamat se Qayamat Tak? Or Romeo and Juliet for that matter. But the end shows the meaninglessness of the act. However, movies are one of the best mediums to bring about a change. Think 3 Idiots, Queen, even Munnabhai series.

  8. This is a tough one (crawling from under her rock – not a bad place on a hot day like today). I live in the United States and have not heard of the movie. But I wonder if it is showing here (at least, in large cities, and I do not live in one). I think a movie like this has a great potential for triggering social change. It all depends on what the people who see it end up doing with the knowledge. It really doesn’t matter that the people doing these atrocities don’t watch. It is what all other people (a majority of people, I hope!) do with the feelings the movie stirs in them.

    • Yeah, as devastated as the climax left me – I do see hope that this might trigger a social change – a positive social change. There are some instances that people have reported, where such positive change has been triggered, albeit on a small scale. But then, some others took it in their stride, and acted horribly. I guess it just depends on people’s perception and what they choose to do with it.
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  9. Living in Canada, I have not heard of this movie. I do like seeing foreign films when I can and like learning about other countries. This one does sound a bit too brutal for my tastes though. I like escapism when watching a movie and don’t like too much tragedy and sadness. There’s enough of that to deal with in real life. Thanks for enlightening us about this movie. There have been some honour killings here in Canada and I found it unbelievably harsh and tragic to hear about them and I felt for the women killed. I couldn’t even comprehend how families could kill their own flesh and blood in the name of honour.
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  10. Hi Shantala!
    No, I did not watch the movie and my blood boils at the mere mention of its name. I heard the end and confess it’s not what we want to see on the screen. There is much of that happening in real world which needs to be stopped.
    Last week, an incident took place in Navi Mumbai where a young lad who was dating a.girl of another community was first threatened with dire consequences (Sairat style – the girl’s father’s words) and was consequently attacked by them which led to his death. His parents were also attacked. His father did all he could but it was all in vain. The family is devastated ;he was their only son. The police hadn’t provided them any protection in spite of the father’s complaint. He was told to wait and watch. Within a few hours everything was over. And all of it was as a result of that horrid movie.
    These things happen a lot all over the world- these honour killings. I wonder why! Why that caste differences at all? We were created as one but we have created differences between each other by creating the caste system. There is really nothing that can be done about these things unless man himself doesn’t wring out this idea from his system once and for all. But that is wishful thinking.
    I would suggest you to do anything you can and get it out of your mind. Mabye watch some film which is full of hope and some positive message. And next time, sweetie, please don’t go by public opinion to watch such movies. I know how disturbed they leave us feeling. Hugs to you babe.

    • Thank you, dearie. I had no clue about the ending, and the movie seemed pretty happy go lucky, so the end came as a rude shock.

      I did not know about the incident you mentioned, but am horrified to hear of it. Such depressing state of affairs. I have never been able to understand the ‘honor’ these people supposedly defend by taking away a human life.
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  11. I must be living under a rock because I haven’t heard about it. But I guess like all other things – gangsters, violence, politics … this too must be a movie made on similar lines.
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  12. I have not seen the movie but reading your post I feel it is better I have not seen it….There is enough trauma and tragedy in the world….It would be good to see something uplifting and inspiring….Thanks for sharing….

  13. I’ve heard about the movie and infact it was playing in the adjoining theatre of the multiplex I was at to see a Hindi movie. Sadly Marathi movies don’t stay more than a week and I don’t see movies that frequently. But everyone I’ve spoken to who has seen the movie thought it was brilliant.
    But I agree with you about depicting violence and sadness on screen. I can’t bring myself to see such stuff either. The other day I saw a movie about young children doing drugs ( not Udta Punjab) and couldn’t sleep for days. Of course this is a reality and I know all about it, but seeing it is really disturbing.
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  14. I haven’t watched any Marathi movies yet.. this one sounds good.. 🙂 will watch it sometime…

  15. I haven’t seen it, so I can’t comment much about it, Shan. but yes, it has been a runaway hit. I’ll see if I can get a subtitled version and watch it.But yes, I’ve never understood this whole honour killing thing either.
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  16. Looks like I am living under the rock. Well, I am never the informed one when it comes to movies and maybe it’s Marathi and the bleak chance of friends and colleagues talking about the movie is also lost. Will find out one with subtitles.
    I get your point too. Sending the message is one thing and leaving a haunting climax for viewers is another. You remember, I wrote about Nil batte sannata – that had a message and such a happy movie.
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    • Exactly. A message can be delivered in many different ways. It doesn’t always have to be tragic.

      I am not denying that this was a tale well told. In-fact it was masterful. But I so wish that it did not have to end the way it did.

      P.S. If you get a version with subtitles, you may be interested in watching this one. It fits well into a lot of topics you write about. And I would love to hear your thoughts and opinions about it.
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  17. YouKnowWho says:

    It is just QSQT with the child thrown in, na? I saw the scene you refer to, on YouTube, but skipped the movie (Nope, eloping lovers not my style). Maybe that is the reason it did not impact me as much. I agree it was a tragic scene and frankly, avoided. And Wiki tells me, it indicates that the fall-out of violence lives on, even if people die. Maybe. Maybe it was only a cinematic representation. I don’t know. I just don’t know.

    Possibly good thing I did not watch the movie.

  18. YouKnowWho says:


    I notice you haven’t written about your closest friend(s) or anything about your friendships. Why don’t you do a post on that. Would love to know more about those awesome souls 🙂

    Also, awaiting July wrap-up!

  19. I’m yet to watch it, but I have read the reviews and have seen the lead cast on various shows…I don’t know what impact movies with a message have on the general public, but some movies like Rang de basanti did cause an uproar and got people marching into the streets seeking justice, though the outcome of even that has amounted to nothing…perhaps the hope is that the future generation at least thinks twice before resorting to honour killings…though that seems to be distant dream too.
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  20. I haven’t seen the movie… but have heard about it. And after reading your post insure do wanna see it, despite the haunting climax bit. I look at it this way,if movie has some food for thought, irrespective of the ending/ climax, and if it has had some impact on me,i would give it a thumbs up.
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  21. I have not seen it. Heard about it, though. After reading your posts, I am having second thoughts. I am not sure I will watch it. Water is one movie that gave me sleepless nights. I don’t want to see the bad side of society. We have news channels for that. I think people make such movies as they want to tell a brutally honest story. I can understand your closure thing as I had the same problem when I saw something on child molestation. I ended up cursing myself. Such cinema is for detached people who have a switch that turns itself off the moment picture is over. We carry the baggage for months.
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  22. I am yet to watch Sairat.
    From your post, it looks like a powerful movie that can haunt a person. But, then it proves – that’s a tale well told.
    I feel movies have an impact on society & vice-versa.
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