Analysis of the film: Mr. and Mrs. Iyer
The film by Aparna Sen released in 2002, opens with a collage of newspaper excerpts of communal violence which establishes that the movie deals with these issues. The scene then shifts to a traditional Tamil Brahmin household which it establishes by using detail shots of stereotypical denotations like the worship of Venkatachalapati, the lunch box of Idlis and vadas, the mulla poovu and the ample use of Tamil. We’re introduced to the two protagonists Meenakshi and Raja Chaudhry at the bus terminal where he is established as someone who’s different from the other as he converses in Bengali with other friend while Meenakshi and her family speak a highly accented English which we identify as South Indian as the film constructs the identity in a way usually portrayed in popular cinema with some amount of exaggeration, also her attire, the pottu and moreover her surname establishes that she is different from him. The viewer up until now is given the position of merely an observer or the fly on the wall.
The position changes to that of a passenger in the bus when the protagonists board the same. The bus acts as a symbol for the larger Macrosm that is India with Sikhs, Muslims, Jews etc., in the bus. Meenakshi is further established as someone different with more than one instance where she can’t understand the language of the other; the distance is further established with the wailing baby and the grouchy woman. Only Raja treads the boundaries to assist her and here he is established as the man she necessarily learns to depend on. The position of the passenger is interrupted only with the panoramic shots of the bus. English is not the spoken language for most of the characters and the awkwardness is established with the dialogues, as a language they must necessarily use to communicate through the barriers.
The lighting up until this point is kept bright and the panoramic shots show lush surroundings, even the music of the...