After years of trailers essentially being a complete summary of the movie, production houses finally seemed to have smartened up. A trailer’s purpose is to serve as the hook for the audience, but most of them, in recent times, have forgotten that. “Darlings” remembered to maintain the intrigue. The thing with living in an OTT age is that there is a clear oversaturation of content. To be honest, most of it is not really original. This means there are multiple versions of the same story. And then, a trailer is released that lays down the events of the film entirely. People end up guessing what is going to happen right away. Then what’s the incentive left to watch it?
But “Darlings” promises something new. A woman’s husband goes missing, but she is the one who has kidnapped him and is taking her revenge after suffering continuous domestic violence at his hands. It seems to be dark but with an undertone of humor. Finally, a good dark comedy from Bollywood. It was only after watching the trailer that we realized how much we had been yearning for something just like this.
What Is Happening In ‘Darlings’ Trailer?
Coming to the “Darlings” trailer, it unfolds in a non-linear pattern. The first frame consists of Vijay Verma, the actor, looking into the camera with downcast eyes. He introduces himself as Hamza Shaikh, Badrunissa Shaikh’s husband. He says that he loves his wife a lot but is leaving her and going away. The trailer cuts to Badrunissa, played by Alia Bhatt, getting ready to welcome him home, but when she opens the door, posing provocatively for his benefit, it turns out to be her neighbor Raman Uncle instead. She immediately hides behind the door and asks him whether Hamza has reached yet and receives a ‘no’ in response. The next clip is of her filing a missing complaint with the police. She is there with her mother, played by Shefali Shah. Upon being asked when Hamza went missing, Badrunissa says it was the day before yesterday, but her mother says it happened yesterday. The police are instantly suspicious and ask them to be clear. Badrunissa says it happened between yesterday and the day before. This is the first clue, along with Badrunissa’s overly ditsy and concerned facade, that she has something to do with the whole thing.
Badrunissa tells the police that Hamza went to work two days ago and hasn’t come back since. We see Hamza cleaning a toilet and complaining to his superiors that he does not want to do this work every day as he is a TC, that is, a ticket conductor. The scene cuts to the present, and Badrunissa and her mother nodding their heads in sync while giving answers to questions is hilarious and a dead giveaway. If that counted as concrete evidence, the police would have arrested them immediately. There are flashbacks of Hamza regularly beating up Badrunissa. We understand that he was an abusive husband.
The next scene of the “Darlings” trailer is of Badrunissa in the red dress, the one she was wearing when the blunder happened in front of Raman uncle. Hamza is in front of her, with his hands and feet tied up. He threatens her that if she doesn’t untie him, he will kill her. In response, Badrunissa smiles and slams his hand with a heavy object. It looks like they have a man helping them—Zulfi, played by Roshan Matthews. We loved him as Ameer in Moothon, and we expect similar brilliance in Darlings. Hope the script has enough room for him to showcase that. Coming back to the trailer, it is shown that Badrunissa was trying to find a solution for Hamza’s alcohol addiction. Shefali is her mother, who lives next door. She advises her to mix rat poison in his food to get him to quit drinking. Jokes apart, we understand that all of Badrunissa’s efforts have been in vine. She tells her mother that she doesn’t want to kill Hamza but wants to treat him the way he treated her. She’s defended herself enough; it’s time for some offense. The next few clips are of them struggling to keep Hamza captive and hidden from the outside world. The trailer ends with a scene where Badrunissa and her mother are telling Zulfi to confess if he has actually kidnapped Hamza. Zulfi, like a deer caught in headlights, is about to say that it is not him but them when he is interrupted by the both of them. These two and a half minutes were undoubtedly funny. It was a chuckle-worthy moment whenever Badrunissa and her mother moved their heads in sync or completed each other’s sentences. Alia Bhatt and Shefali Shah have surprising chemistry, and their eyes deserve their own hall of fame.
Thoughts And Expectations
We know the general gist of things. Hamza Shaikh is a man caught in a job that he despises. His superior obviously doesn’t respect him much if he is making him clean toilets. We know from the teaser, released before the trailer, that he suspected that his wife was having an affair with Zulfi. He was an abusive husband who went too far one day. And that’s when Badrunissa decides that enough is enough and that it’s time he gets a taste of his own medicine. How she does that is what “Darlings” is all about. The movie’s real hook is that it promises an interesting execution. Retracting for a second from our previous statement, we wish that they had not revealed that Badrunissa was the one to kidnap him. And if they had to reveal that, maybe they should have kept her motivations out of the trailer. The intrigue would have been so much better. But let’s remember that Darlings is not about a mystery. It is a dark comedy, centered around an absurd situation. And we have to see how that would unfold. Plus, the actors are all phenomenal. There was a feeling of instant anticipation in us when we saw the trailer, and it’s been a while since we felt that. This is exactly what happens when the editors understand the assignment.
“Darlings” promises to be magic waiting to happen on screen, and we are impatient for August 5th to come soon.