Marked, but not marred for life

Name: Uyare

Director: Manu Ashokan

Year: 2019

Language: Malayalam

Meet Pallavi Ravindran (Parvathy Thiruvothu), a 14-year-old who flies for the first time as a passenger with her classmates. The excited teenager is keener on exploring the cockpit. She manages to merely catch a glimpse of it during the trip. There begins her dream to fly across skies: as a pilot, one day. Years later, she works towards her goal till a possessive lover scars her for life. Yes, Pallavi becomes an acid attack victim. So, what do the acid attack victims get from us: pity, sympathy, or discrimination? But Uyare is the story of Pallavi, who chooses to pursue her dream despite being harshly judged by the world for her nightmarish look.

Pallavi is definitely a fighter. Uyare is the story of an acid attack survivor who is blessed with the right kind of support from her closest people. This definitely helps you cope and move on easily in life. We all take home the lesson the society on how we should start looking at the survivors as fighters and not as victims or judge them merely based on their looks. Also, the movie highlights a couple of other points too: one, the right to get out of a toxic relationship and the need to say ‘No’ (previously beautifully explained in the Hindi movie ‘Pink’). The other is that most acid attacks bear no witnesses who could testify in a court of law. So, when Pallavi decides to get her ex-lover, Govind, punished legally, no one says it is going to be easy or justice will be served quickly. But justice is ultimately served.

It would not be wrong to say that the movie belonged to Pallavi all along. Actress Parvathy played the role with finesse and poise. But Pallavi is incomplete without the supporting characters, including her best friend from the flying class. She constantly motivates her to chase her dreams despite the horrifying incident. The men in Pallavi’s life play a major role in shaping her future. Pallavi’s father understands that beyond the initial enthusiasm, Pallavi is serious about securing her flying license. So, he supports her in achieving the same. Similarly, after the attack, he remains by her side all along. The second man is Vishal Rajasekar (Tovino Thomas), the heir to an airline company, who has always been under the wing of his tycoon dad. But it is also his coming-of-age story when he decides to go against his dad and recruit Pallavi as an air hostess, despite her condition. A true friend who believes in her and gives Pallavi the confidence to face the world. For instance, Vishal risks it all to allow Pallavi to take charge of the cockpit during a crucial moment despite not having her flying license. But the most important man in Pallavi’s life is her long-time possessive boyfriend, Govind, who throws acid on her face when she says she is done with the abusive relationship.

‘Uyare’ is an emotion. ‘Uyare’ is the voice of the acid attack victims who are still struggling to make a place for themselves in this closed society. Let’s watch it to gain a newer perspective towards acid attack survivors.

Janani Rajeswari is a freelance journalist who feels writing is a way of staying happy and positive. She teaches foreign languages. She also loves music, pets, books, movies, art and craft and learning new languages.

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