Sajin Baabu’s Biriyaani is a superb take on how you don’t need external religions to oppress you

Posted on March 24, 2021



The film is about the travails of being a oppressed caste/class Muslim woman, and also about generally being Muslim in Kerala.

Spoilers ahead…

Sajin Baabu has made something strange and wondrous with Biriyaani. It’s filled with the contradictions of life. The title may refer to communities where women are basically treated like tasty bits of meat. Indeed, the first scene has a man (a Muslim) mounting his wife with scant regard for her satisfaction. What she does a little later proves the kind of woman she is. And yet, this act of assertion (or woman-power) doesn’t always define her. Or take the “genre”. On the surface, you might call Biriyaani a revenge drama. Yet, it also questions the very nature of revenge: “Should wrong acts be corrected with further wrongs?” This is a film that demolishes conventional “narrative arcs” and “character arcs”. People do things (and I mean this in a good way) randomly, so we get fragments of events and fragments of behavioural traits that all add up to why Khadeeja (Kani Kusruti) is the way she is.

Read the rest of this article at the link above.

Copyright ©2021 Film Companion.