When Aziz Ansari was accused of sexual misconduct nearly two years ago, it split the world into two. It inspired some passionate pieces, that slammed and even defended Ansari’s humiliation. It’s not just a right or wrong question – the ‘consent’ dialogue at the heart of Aziz Ansari’s case was a little more complex. Shubham Yogi’s Suno, starring Sumeet Vyas & Amrita Puri, picks up the reins of the conversation left behind by Ansari’s polarising case. And it does so with plenty of intrigue.
Where similar films are usually driven by the whys and the whos, Yogi’s film chooses to protect the what. A suburban couple (Vyas & Puri) can be seen getting into a car, discussing an awkward Doctor’s appointment – where Puri’s character needs to explain her black eye. Vyas’s character, it is revealed, ‘accidentally’ hit his wife during the act of an ‘experiment’ in bed.
She plainly says she was ‘hit’ by her husband, while he keeps insisting that it was ‘an accident’. For all purposes, these two seem like any other suburban couple, who probably stream films/shows during dinner. They’re probably even each other’s drinking partner at the end of a long, tiring day. There is a matter of fact-ness about their relationship as equals. Like a majority of those educated couples in the city, the husband claims to be a champion of equal rights. So how does this ‘black eye’ look for them? That he’s secretly a wife-beater? Can anyone even try and discuss their sexual mishaps in public?
However, one of the most interesting things about Yogi’s film, is the realisation dawning upon Amrita Puri’s character. Even as a one-off ‘accident’, it triggers a lot of questions about the basic dynamic of their relationship. Are they really equals? When Puri discusses her plight about the uncomfortable stares she gets in office, for her black eye, Vyas conveniently tunes out of the conversation. When she tells him about attending a support group for domestic violence victims, he completely forgets about it. When she asks him about whether she had consented to sex that night, his memory is clouded.
In terms of the performances, Amrita Puri’s dialogues seem awkward in some points. By simply *being*, Vyas builds up on his performance from Rakhee Sandhilya’s Ribbon. Suno is addressed to the ‘urban, liberal ally’ of the feminist movement, who forget about their behaviour behind closed doors. How, the ‘masculine conditioning’ quietly seeps into them, even unintentionally. The film’s title literally translating to ‘please listen’, urges men to be more receptive to their partners/spouses. This is the least one (even the woke ones) can do in a post #MeToo world – listen.
Watch Suno here –