Killer Soup And Dreams… A Deadly Combination? Go Watch On Netflix!

Killer Soup: Director Abhishek Choubey is known to create women characters with a lot of authority even when it means for them to stray into the morally grey areas.

I do not advocate murder, treachery, extra-marital relationships or any form of immoral actions; however I cannot feel drawn towards Swathi Shetty from Killer Soup. Her quest for respect is insatiable as compared to her expectations of love and companionship. Her will to stand up against all odds and fulfill her own dreams surpasses everything else. Does that make her vile and fiendish? Perhaps to a few but not to most.

*Spoilers Alert!*

Swathi Shetty never wanted Prabhakar Shetty, her husband to die. However, she kept her clandestine escapades on simultaneously since she found a good man in Umesh Mahto (who is also her husband’s masseuse) someone who she had met while working as a nurse at Mainjur.

What sets apart these two men in her life is initially their attitude towards her-Prabhakar Shetty disrespected her, cheated on her several times (which she comes to know much later), cannot take a stand for her whereas Umesh Mahto not only loves her but respects her too only to fall weak when encountered with another woman aka Kirtima.

Swathy has the worst recipe of a Paya Soup (that she’s trying to perfect for long now) that repulses her clients but has the best concoction for crime, murder and deceit which is evident when she tries to replace her lover Umesh Mahto with Prabhakar Shetty after they accidentally kill him (or do they?).

A quagmire of deceit and deaths

From the opening scene the relationship between Swathi and Prabhakar aka Prabhu as she calls him, is quite conspicuous; it clearly reflects how they are passing each other on the downslope of the marriage of 20 years. While the former is hell bent upon on a dream to own a restaurant of her own the latter keeps planning and plotting to swindle his elder brother, the local mafia Arvind Shetty!

As the plot thickens there are more deaths which somehow has Swathi Shetty around and leads her to one quagmire to another. One cannot miss her desperation (which has a beautiful stoical facade) when she finds out how she was used, manipulated and cheated upon by her husband. Not to forget she kept up with his vileness just to set up her own dream restaurant serving the best Paya Soup. Isn’t it what most women do to hold onto something that’s really close to them-for some it could be children, for some it could be domesticity or for some it could be a hidden aspiration.

Swathi’s angst at being mocked, insulted, humiliated time and again by her husband or his elder brother resembles the hurt most women go through when they aren’t given their due respect. Her facial expressions say it all, she is the woman who refuses to live a mediocre life or a life that’s defined by someone else. And if that leads her to treacherous ways well, she doesn’t hesitate.

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Swathi is a woman stuck in a patriarchal set up wherein even her own people do not trust her. So she has to take it upon herself to build a life that she dreams of.

Strong women characters with agency

Director Abhishek Choubey is known to create women characters with a lot of authority even when it means for them to stray into the morally grey areas; we’ve seen it in Ishqiya and Udta Punjab so Killer Soup isn’t different.

Swathi Shetty gets to you as a woman as rightly pointed out by Konkona Sen Sharma (who plays the character) in her conversation with DNA India, ““It was a lot of fun. The way I see it from Swathi’s point of view is that she is a greater goal, a larger cause, which is her restaurant. She has done everything, raised kids, worked, climbed the social ladder, and now she wants to do this for herself, at a slightly later age, when she is done with the domesticity. Many women can relate to that, doing something for themselves. But life and patriarchy get in the way. In that sense, I myself could relate to her a lot.”

Having said that Swathi Shetty breaks a lot of eggs to create her proverbial omelette but at the end she leaves you empathizing with her. Her constant persuasion of her personal goals after having fulfilled all societal expectations will surely resonate with a lot of women who are trying hard to reclaim a little more agency in life. In the end you know that Swathi Shetty might not have the perfect recipe for a ‘Killer Soup’ but she surely has the perfect one to create a life that she always dreamt of.

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