Malayalam web movie ‘The Identity’ narrates a homemaker’s fight to prove her mettle

The film, directed by Chandra Vadhana R, is streaming on Neestream

March 08, 2022 03:29 pm | Updated March 09, 2022 10:20 am IST

Reshmi Kurup in a still from 'The Identity'

Reshmi Kurup in a still from 'The Identity' | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

The Identity, directed by Chandra Vadhana R, is about a homemaker’s quest for respect and acceptance in her own family. Devi is the protagonist of The Identity, a 38-minute movie released on International Women’s Day (March 8) on OTT platform Neestream.

“There is nothing novel about the narrative because it is a story that we have read or heard or seen umpteen times,” says Chandra. She points out there are millions of women like her in society. Many of them fail to understand the kind of abuse they are going through, be it physical, emotional, sexual or financial. They choose to live with it because of various reasons. But I wanted to show that there can be a change if the woman wills,” says Chandra, who has written the story and screenplay of the film.

A still from the web movie ‘The Identity’

A still from the web movie ‘The Identity’ | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

Devi’s life revolves around her husband and their two daughters. However, her family takes the homemaker for granted. All that she wishes is to be treated with love, respect and dignity by them. Eventually, an embittered Devi decides to fight her own battle.

Financially Devi is dependent on her husband, while her husband ridicules her desire to take up a job. She also has to put up with physical abuse. Her daughters are indifferent to her situation and often make fun of her.

For her directorial debut, Chandra says that she has drawn from the experiences of several women she came across as founder director and CEO of Prayaana, an ‘employability, entrepreneurship and innovation lab for women’ she set up in 2017. It provides opportunities for qualified women and gives them the flexibility to work. Their priority is on primarily hiring women who are returning to the job market after a career break and provides them training and career-building opportunities. Prayaana hubs are also being set up in various campuses.

Chandra Vadhana R on the location of 'The Identity'

Chandra Vadhana R on the location of 'The Identity' | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

"Having lived in a patriarchal family, I have gone through the disappointment of not being able to follow my dreams. Eventually when I came out of it, I found that there were many women like me who were forced to give up their dreams. I wanted to do something for them and that led to the formation of Prayaana,” she adds. Chandra, who has a PhD in management, is currently in the US on a Fulbright Fellowship for her work in the area of women empowerment and is doing research at Gendered Innovation Labs, Standford University.

Reshmi Kurup in a still from 'The Identity'

Reshmi Kurup in a still from 'The Identity' | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

In the film, it is Prayaana that makes a difference in Devi's life. Prayaana has been collaborating with Kerala Startup Mission, Kerala Knowledge Economy Mission (KKEM) and is also a hiring and training partner for various organisations and corporates.

The Identity is the first film production venture of Prayaana. “We launched a wing, Women Power Productions, to bring out works that tell stories about women. We also wanted it to be a platform to promote women technicians. Although we haven’t materialised that dream, I decided to set the project rolling and that’s how The Identity came about,” she says.

Most of the actors in the film are first-timers, including real-life couple Reshmi Kurup and Gopikrishna M who play the lead pair. Chandra, her daughter Mythili, Gaatha G Krishna, Anay S Menon, Sruthi Vipin, RJ Jewel and Bibeesh Balan are the other actors. Sangeetha Varma is the lyricist and composer.

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