“When a slum dweller spins a web of lies in the pursuit of the upward mobility he has long craved, his ruse could be especially dangerous for his young son,” says Netflix about the latest Bollywood movie to release on the platform. Directed by Sudhir Mishra of Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi and Chameli fame, Serious Men stars Nawazuddin Siddiqui in the lead, as the father of the young Adi.
The trailer shows Ayyan Mani (Siddiqui) comparing the generations in his family — from 2G to 4G, from an illiterate father time to wanting his son and grandchild to have all the luxuries of the world. It is then godsent that his son shows capabilities of being a genius. This throws their family of three into the public spotlight, with the parents wanting Adi to accumulate as many accolades as possible, and the young boy being confused about the whole process yet enjoying the attention. It’s not all rosy though — things get murky, and the authenticity of the child genius is questioned along the way, leading to another struggle for the father who has had it hard his whole life.
‘What happens when you find out your child is a prodigy? That’s the dream of every Indian parent – you can finally claim to have a child better than Sharma Ji ka beta. Hearing your son being called the junior APJ Abdul Kalam, the next Einstein, may sound great but is all that attention positive? Ayyan and Oja Mani want their son to shine, thanks to his talents. They want him to be successful and defy the odds to better the condescending ‘Serious Men’ around them, but will he?’ The trailer asks.
The real story of Serious Men movie on Netflix India-
The movie is based on the 2010 book by the same name, authored by Manu Joseph. The drama fiction follows the life of Ayyan Mani, a Dalit who lives in slums and works as the personal assistant of a famous astrologer. The lack of opportunities he faces and his dream to break out of the struggle are what form the bedrock of the novel, which touches upon several topics such as caste, oppression, social ranks, and class.
All images: Courtesy Netflix