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The latest Terribly Tiny Tales short film Suno gives a new face to domestic violence and shows that even in an ‘obviously happy’ marriage there are these unsaid or unheard things.
We all know that domestic violence and marital rape is a reality. Something that not a lot of us know that it might be happening with you but you might just not realise it.
Online platform TTT released a short film Suno starring Sumeet Vyaas and Amrita Puri. Director Shubham Yogi takes a sober approach to the idea of consent and the issue of marital rape and abuse in the film.
The story not focusing on the incident itself, instead deals with the aftermath. It starts with a young woman (Amrita Puri) confused about the nature of the incident. Her husband (Sumeet Vyas) assures her that it was simply an accident, a simple case of kinks gone wrong. She agrees initially. But you can still sense a sense of discomfort in her.
Seeing her bruise her office colleagues set her up for a domestic abuse help meeting. She discusses all of this with her husband who tries to convince her that it was all an accident. In the movie, the audience sees a really good husband who cooks and takes complete care of her wife. We see both the perspectives on the incident and are somewhat convinced that it was an accident.
In the end, the story takes a twist where the wife asks the husband that “I said no but did you listen”. The director has subtly tried to show that the very fact that she went for the domestic abuse help meeting shows that she had felt abused. And the bruise – might not have been an intentional hit, but was clearly use of force even if ‘accidentally’.
This beautiful short film has tried to show how domestic violence is not always clearly visible to the partners in a marriage. In the film the husband cooks, they talk easily, there is no obvious husband-wife hierarchy, it is the ‘happy marriage’. But everything is not that black and white; there are grey areas.
These ‘happy-marriages’ can also have cracks. Throughout the short film, we sense a feeling of anxiety and discomfort in the wife. She tries various ways of reaching out to her husband on the fact of consent, before realising that the hard truth is the best option. This shows that even in an ‘obviously happy’ marriage there are these unsaid or unheard things.
The way when he asks “you never said no” and she replies “I said it, but you didn’t listen” shows that his not really “listening” to her no because clearly he wanted sex then, and either didn’t realize she was saying no or even indicating a no, or just pushed it away. That is the grey area with domestic abuse. Sometimes you don’t obviously realise it and just disregard the idea of consent because ‘you are married’.
According to National Family, Health Survey (NFHS)-4 released by the Union health ministry among married women (15-49 age) who were victims of sexual violence, over 83% reported their current husband and 9% report a former husband as the perpetrators.
According to this survey, 27 per cent of women have experienced physical violence since the age of 15 in India. Domestic violence and marital rape is not a non-existent thing. It is there – sometimes visible, sometimes hidden but it is there.
The survey also revealed that domestic violence cases, where women reported physical abuse in rural and urban areas, were at 29 per cent and 23 per cent, respectively. Most of the marriages in rural India are the traditional marriages where the concept of Marital Rape is non-existent. In most of the traditional marriages patriarchy prevails and the concept of asking for consent and saying ‘no’ is just not there.
On the contrary, in modern societies and seemingly happy marriages, the husband-wife superior-inferior culture is not that dominant. But the idea of consent here too is vague. Suno perfectly shows that relationships are based on the nuanced understandings of each other. It acknowledges the complex emotional warp and weft of human relationships by focusing on the unheard or unsaid things. The movie doesn’t make you judge who is wrong and who is right instead it makes you think and contemplate.
Watch the film here.
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