Aadaminte Vaariyellu is a brilliant commentary on the social stigma faced by women in our society. The title itself is indicative of it- as though women are not something of their own but man’s. It is brilliant because it identifies women as a class. We have Alice, a rich “well-off” women, Vaasanthi a middle class bread winner and Ammini, who is abandoned by her kin.
As K. G. George narrates the tragedies that these women who adorn typical traditional roles assigned for them, he reveals the narrow and limited spaces that they enjoy in our utterly patriarchal society:
They are not free to travel and it is determined by factors other than their own (While Alice and Vaasanthi has to race against time and odds to reach back home before it is too dark, Ammini never ventures out at all). They do not have a say in the decisions that are made in the house, especially regarding money and their sexuality. Alice and Ammini are Maamachan Mothalali’s virtual slaves and Vaasanthi is subservient despite being sole the bread winner. Alice has often been pimped by her own husband for his material needs and turned into a bitter woman. She spends much of her time in front of the mirror (why?). Vaasanthi is molested by her own husband irrespective of the circumstances (He even jokes her illness as a craving for sex). Ammini is raped by Maamachan. The expression in her face when Maamachan approaches her reveals that she has no say nor choice. That she is silent in her reactions, even on the day after she was raped says enough and more about her freedom and rights. There is not much difference in the case of Alice and Vaasanthi either.
Almost everything about the movie seems to be purposeful. Much of it is shot where such exploitations take place- the kitchen, the bedroom, the common space in either houses where all three women are always pushed to the background. Nisha’s character is also intriguing as a young girl brought up under the system in neglect. Maamachan also remarks why he should spend on educating her as she has to be married off to someone. Vaasanthi’s workplace is another interesting depiction- a male dominated space where there are ill intentional remarks about the wife of an NRI who dresses fashionably and jokes about Vaasanthi’s tiredness as an obvious case of pregnancy.
All the women in the movie are living with just a ray of hope. For Alice it is Jose, a young architect she has fallen in love with. For Ammini, it is that of a marriage (huh!), that too only if Maamachan feels empathetic. For Vaasanthi, it is that someday soon, her husband will quit drinking (because that is what makes him bad). And soon enough, it fades. Jose washes off his hands, Ammini is raped by Maamachan and eventually ends up at a rescue home (from Alice’s words, she is lucky to be still alive. Perhaps something which her silent suffering bought her) and Vaasanthi resorts to insanity.
Dejected by all, Alice commits suicide. Vaasanthi’s doctor explains to her husband that her problem is only minimal, that a joined effort from his part with little compassion and care is all that she needs. Next, we see her taken into the asylum. But Ammini, who has lost everything, unlike Alice and Vaasanthi who have more to hold on to, from the very bottom manages to emancipate herself and those around her. Shown surrealistically, she responds to the drumbeats and liberates them in a revolutionary manner and breaks through the fourth wall. K. G. George signs off by saying that such a narration, even as prolific as this, won’t be able to encompass women. That this movie is only indicative and not all of it.