Just Like That

India 2019, Busan New Currents competition- special mention

First Feature Film by Kislay Kislay

Synopsis

In the outskirts of a small village in India, Mrs. Sharma is forced to remain a respected middle-class wife and a faithful, wise old woman upon her husband’s death. Her son and his family, who live with her, have no doubt that she will make sacrifices to help them out financially. But Mrs. Sharma has absolutely no intention to do so. Instead, she tries what she has never done before—getting beauty treatments, going to a shopping mall, watching a movie in a theater, and making dolls. Making new friends along the way, she also tries to maintain financial independence and opens a bank account under her own name for the first time.

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Through the gaze of Mrs. Sharma, Just Like That shows the oppressiveness of the virtue that respected elderly women from a small town in India are subjected to, from generational, class, and gender perspectives. Within a crowded and packed screen, Mrs. Sharma often gets lost and is pushed out to the edge. An elderly woman’s search for herself is considered selfish and unethical within the prejudice and oppression of her own family and society, but quietly and steadily she goes on to improve her life. The calm and dense narrative and warm colors are what makes this film particularly appealing.