Critics Corner

How The Character of Suchi in ‘The Family Man’ is a Testament to Women Out There

Shrikant saving the country is important but Suchi’s ambitions aren’t any lesser.

2019-10-12T10:07:00Z

Amongst all the other aspects that may or may not have wowed you in Amazon Prime Video’s The Family Man, there a couple of things which may have gone unnoticed otherwise. A show that focuses and revolves around Shrikant (Manoj Bajpayee) is a lot more than just another show around the narrative of terrorism.

The family in Family Man may not have entirely been justified in the show but one character (almost) certainly has. In times, where stereotypical portrayals on women characters are finally witnessing a change, the character of Suchitra aka Suchi is a testament to all the women out there.

Not Another ‘Feeling Sorry’ Moment

The one absolutely unfortunate thing that women face is the feeling of guilt. Even worse? Guilt that doesn’t transpire them to be guilty in any manner. Let’s face it. Your mother, my mother and all the many women out there end up feeling ‘guilty’ the moment they think about themselves. If there is something they are really willing to do and that comes in the way of raising their kids they do not encourage themselves. This wouldn’t have been a gender debate but unfortunately, it is. We, as men, somehow entitle ourselves to do things for ourselves and not feel ‘selfish’ but end up repudiating it when women, especially mothers do that. 

Suchi, here in The Family Man is shown to tackle these demons where she faces the dilemma of leaving her kids unattended for a longer period of time as she is willing to accept new challenges in her career. Throughout her period of accepting a new job and not being there too much, there are constant reminders on how her children are indeed getting ‘affected’ by no parent available at home among other things. And while in a situation otherwise, this may seem like the woman’s fault to many, the makers aren’t trying to tell you that. They are trying to remind you that when you have a family, taking care of your growing kids is a responsibility that should be shared by both the husband and the wife. And while Shrikant’s antics in saving the country are seemingly a lot more important, the show tells you that Suchi’s ambitions aren’t and shouldn’t be any lesser.

The Gender Battle Simplified

What the show beautifully embodies is the balance that both a male and female character bring to the plate. Bajpayee’s Shrikant is just as flawed as any one of us can be. He lies at the drop of a hat and struggles with jealousy and possessiveness all the time. On the other hand, Priyamani’s Suchi is still struggling with her decision to prioritize her career over her family for once and the idea of having a much more desirable prospect in the form of a friend, Arvind (Sharad Kelkar). The duo is trying to keep up with the constant battle of balancing their professional and personal life but it is a tougher task for the woman in the equation because so far, she was just ‘expected’ to do that.

The Track of Infidelity

Yet another step-up in the manner in which infidelity is portrayed, The Family Man reminds you of how the act, even though cannot be condoned, isn’t something one should live in denial about. The manner in which Suchi is seen struggling, hiding and even battling her leaning towards her colleague, Arvind is such masterfully portrayed without showing any of the characters as ‘negative.’ Once again, to make things clear, being unfaithful isn’t excusable per se but it is something that is an otherwise hidden truth that needs to be treated with maturity. While Suchi is a testament, the treatment of infidelity in the show is a major step-up in Indian filmmaking.

Seemingly Incomplete

However, if there is just one shortcoming that I felt at the end of the first season then that is the entire arc that her character completes. From having the best writing to getting a seemingly incomplete end to her entire arc, Suchi’s character was left with a dilemma that remained unsolved. We hope and assume that the show will be getting a second season owing to the cliffhanger it provides so that there are further shades to portray. Precisely speaking, after her trip with Arvind as she is finding it difficult to face Shrikant in a way and avoiding Arvind, it remained unclear as to what is her future in terms of her career. Of course, we do come to know how she is still going to her job in the end but if she tells Arvind that she doesn’t know when will she meet him again, does that mean she decided to go back to her old job? Not likely. If she is still going to her new job how will she not face Arvind? This may seem as questions are the second season but while every other character gets pretty much a full arc to end with in the first season, Suchi almost doesn’t.

That doesn’t eradicate the fact that the character of Suchi is a testament to women out there and is probably the best-written character for a female in recent times.

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