*CAUTION: SPOILERS AHEAD*
Passive-abusive relationship is what Mani Ratnam penned down for Katru Veliyidai, but unfortunately never decided to show things from Leela's perspective. Leela Abraham, the character played by Aditi Rao Hydari is the sad reality many women live in.
Meeting a guy like VC (Karthi) who looks ideal from a distance but actually a perfectly flawed human who is ruled by male chauvinism and a huge ego trip. VC eventually repented is what the movie showed, but did he really or was it all a lip service, nobody knows.
Leela was portrayed to be a strong educated woman, in a romantic yet destructive relationship, but never really did much to fight it back. There was even a scene where she said that she's been treated as a "pet dog" but later portrayed as a trophy girlfriend when VC mentions that the boys must buy him a single malt because she comes back with him.
When these two polar opposites fall in love, as a viewer I loved and hated both of them for who they were. Especially Leela. How can you love a guy who forgets your marriage registration, especially when he plans it?! Well, it's obvious that VC fell for Leela's beauty and thrilled her heart, by being a strong experienced man and a daredevil, he caught the naive girl's attention with grand gestures, like sending her videos and bringing her across Himalayas.
To those out there who are thinking that this is just a movie, put aside the Kagil War, their relationship isn't all fantasy. It's the reality we live in. We've all seen a VC in our lives, who still completely disagree with woman having her independent thoughts. "Dude, how can Hillary Clinton run the country?" Let's not pretend this is something new, shall we?
The funny thing is, there are many women out there who succumb to such toxic relationships thinking this is "love"; like what Dr Nidhi (Leela's friend) said. Women out there are supposed to know that it's not okay to be unaware of your place in a relationship, regardless with whom it is; especially with your loved ones.
My heart cried when Leela didn't fight back every single time VC shouted "shut up", and when VC said he will love her more than she will no matter what. In the movie maybe it's true, but I have seen this with my own eyes, and guess what, that's not the case. VC thinks Leela is important, VC thinks he loves her but what Nidhi said is truest thing in the script. VC only loves himself and all the VCs out there only love themselves.
It all falls back to Leela's naivety, that giving in to the male's ego is probably what she has been taught to do, all her life. Her father Prakash Abraham, for an example, so much ego, and when he said he doesn't want VC there in the funeral, the wife followed his order, no questions asked. In reality, look around; we are all living in an undeniable patriarchal society, when men is the default leader of a family, or any relationships. Maybe that's what got Leela pregnant. And maybe the logic is what led to so many pregnancies out of wedlock around us today.
Leela, a woman who wanted to stand for herself but didn't know how to in front of the man she loves. And this, for me did not make a feel good movie. In fact it humanized the devil that lives inside a man and made it seem "ok", but girls, please know that it's not okay for a man to treat you like a rubbish, anytime.
Neither Leela nor VC was perfect, so don't be a Leela or a VC. If you think that a relationship is what gonna change you for the better, don't do it. And if you're in a relationship like VC and Leela, end the toxic right away and move on with your life. It might hurt now, but one day you'll not care anymore. Don't worry, you'll get there. And trust me, when you find your soulmate, all of these will be a fruitful lesson to carry, and you wouldn't take what you have for granted
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