8 Reasons Why Football Themed Film Sesham Mik-il Fathima Is A Fantastic Watch!

It's a common misconception that women do not understand sports or enjoy sports the way men do. Sesham Mik-il Fathima's protagonist proves otherwise!

Sesham Mik-il Fathima* is a quirky Malayalam movie on Netflix that tells the story of a girl, Fathima Noorjahan, who belongs to an orthodox family and dreams of becoming a football commentator.

I found the premise refreshing as it challenges gender stereotypes and age-old notions about women exhibiting interest in sports and related fields. The ‘chatterbox’ as Fathima is so aptly named, paves her way into the viewers’ hearts with her effervescent and bubbly nature.  The film has several lessons for women.

*Spoilers Alert!* 

Why are only some professions stereotyped as ‘safe’ for women?

Fathima’s family decides that teaching is a ‘respectable’ profession for a woman and pushes her to pursue a degree in biochemistry. Undeterred, she decides to follow her dream of becoming a Football commentator while completing her internship.

During this journey, Fathima is told that ‘compering’ is more suitable for a girl; commentating is a job for men, and there are no women in this field. Fathima refuses to compromise. Anchoring is not for her, she says. Her big break will be in commentating, and she will settle for nothing less, she declares.

Women should make informed decisions when it comes to choosing their future partners

Fathima’s father is under pressure to see his daughter married, since her aspirations are creating ripples and inviting unwanted comments from ‘well-wishers’ who warn him she will “go astray”.

When a Dubai-returned prospective groom comes to visit Fathima, she interrogates him on his interests and lifestyle. She even demands to know if he has a proper family visa. While relatives blame her inquisitiveness for chasing the groom away, she shrugs it off and emphasizes that she needs to know. Bravo!

Do women understand sports? Yes!

A common misconception is that women do not understand sports or enjoy sports the way men do. Fathima loves football; she has played it with her brother and his friends. She watches all the matches on TV. She lives, loves, and breathes the game. During an interview, she dazzles everyone by explaining the science behind a specific football kick. She isn’t just a fan; she understands the technique too.

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The challenges women face in sports

The subject of sports scandals finds place in this story as well. An official in the football association invites Fathima to his home on the pretext of discussing opportunities. She is wary but ends teaching him a lesson.

While the premise is realistic, her resolution may not be. However, it does shed light on the rot in the system, especially the irony that these men have daughters of comparable age, and yet they engage in lewd activities.

The supportive men in the family; but is social pressure the culprit?

Fathima’s brother supports his sister’s football craze and asks her to step in at the last minute as a commentator for a local team event. He continues to encourage his sister’s craze for the greater part of the film. Even Fathima’s father wishes to be there for her, but social pressure gets the better of him.

Times are changing; the men agree

In a public gathering, an elderly relative insults Fathima by taunting her that no one would want to marry her since she is the only woman in a male-dominated field, and she ought to know her place. A group of youth surround the man and correct him; times have changed, men want equal partners; they want their spouses to follow their dreams too.

Fathima’s story is not about romance

It is refreshing to see a film celebrating a woman’s ambition and her friendships. Whether it is a female friend getting over a cheating boyfriend or a footballer struggling with mental health, Fathima is there for them. She maintains that she will not get married until she can stand on her feet and be independent. She makes it clear to her father that she does not have a boyfriend; she is merely focusing on her dreams.

Celebrating the power of sisterhood

Fathima’s friend, Ramya is a journalist and an alumnus of her college. Ramya goes out of her way to help Fathima find contacts, and arranges meetings for her. There is no jealousy or rivalry- just the power of sisterhood.

The women in the film are progressive; Fathima’s grandmother supports her granddaughter’s eccentricities while her mother teaches her how to whistle in an endearing moment. These women are quietly supportive of her ambition, despite being raised in conservative backgrounds themselves.

A delightful watch!

While entertaining, the film is not perfect in many ways. Some of the situations resolve far too easily, and don’t seem to be very believable, including some parts that are over-simplified.

Overall, the film is a delightful watch that touches on pertinent issues and leaves the viewer chuckling and cheering for the neighborhood chatterbox!

*Up next on the mike, Fathima.

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About the Author

Lalitha Ramanathan

Lalitha is a blogger and a dreamer. Her career is in finance, but writing is her way to unwind! Her little one is the center of her Universe. read more...

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