Serious Men

Serious Men

Serious Men is currently streaming on Netflix India

Director: Sudhir Mishra
India release date: Oct 02, 2020
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Language: Hindi
Duration: 114 mins


“Sudhir Mishra’s first-ever adaptation of a published book is no mean cinematic achievement – it is at once funny, sardonic, bitter, insightful and pugnacious… Serious Men is a portrait of a minefield of a society delivered with a lightness of touch that enhances its acuity. “

Rating: 3.5 stars | Full review

Saibal Chatterjee, NDTV
Saibal Chatterjee
“Nawazuddin Siddiqui is an exceptional actor who is able to convey the machinations of his character’s mind even while holding still… The film’s story is one part satire on significant men who posture, and lesser men who imitate that posturing, and one part political pamphlet about merit being supreme, about merit trumping all, irrespective of opportunity… Manu Joseph is a fine writer but in Serious Men he betrays a rather abhorrent worldview… There are no literary bravely awards to be given out for showing lower caste characters as fraudulent, dishonest. That has been the upper caste’s narrative for ages about “neech log.”

| Full review

Suparna Sharma, The Asian Age
Suparna Sharma


Serious Men is also about the naïve, gullible media hungry for ‘success stories’ — a sign of promise in a country that, despite periodic predictions of shining future, lives in waves of hope… The drama is a bleak, cynical look at a lopsided power structure. It’s not interested in misguided hope or simplistic solutions — so much so that you’d be strained to find scenes marked by pathos… It’s also a largely accomplished adaptation. It erases a few subplots of the novel to tell a focused story. The movie is much gentler than its source material; it ignores the book’s overlong, petulant sexism — which soon gets repetitive — and concentrates on its strengths.”

| Full review

Tanul Thakur, The Wire
Tanul Thakur
“Casteist hierarchy has historically controlled whom it chooses to empower and whom to oppress. The gross injustice in this distinction manifests in a father’s questionable actions in Serious Men… What emerges is a captivating and complex portrait of underdog ambition. Its satirical overtones, crackling zingers and razor sharp detailing enrich the experience of watching wholesome actors at the top of their game… Every second of Serious Men pulsates with Nawaz’s steadfast energy… Nawaz’s ability to loom large even when he is not in the frame does well to highlight his character’s intimidating quality.”

Rating: 4 stars | Full review

Sukanya Verma, Rediff
Sukanya Verma


“Who among us hasn’t committed to memory a piece of trivia, a line of verse? This may not be done purposefully, but the unveiling is almost always to our advantage, to impress an object of affection or someone whose approval we seek. Now imagine if a similar sort of acquisition—a few lines, a few numbers—could have life-altering consequences. How far would you go? This is the question at the heart of Serious Men.”

| Full review

Uday Bhatia, Live Mint
Uday Bhatia
““Underdog” is a term invented by storytellers to romanticize strife. It is inherently derisive, reducing human condition to a narrative concept. It is also only used by those in a position of privilege – emotional, economic, intellectual, cultural – to describe those who are not. In a way, it’s an all-purpose slur. Cinema further stigmatizes the term by limiting its occupants to compassionate arcs: heroism, redemption, defiance, victory. This gaze demands wish-fulfillment over realism, blood over flesh and blood – like Roman Kings pitting slaves against lions in the hope of a feel-good ending… Serious Men… is a “feel-bad underdog” film… Think Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite but with Mumbai as the glass home. “

Rating: stars | Full review

Rahul Desai, Film Companion
Rahul Desai


“This is Mishra back in form. He is one of the few Hindi film directors who understands politics, and at his best, has been able to spin winning yarns around the politics of the day (Hazaaron Khwahishein Aisi). His 1992 Dharavi, also set in the slums, and an automatic comparison, was more about a man eking out an existence. Serious Men allows its slum-dweller the new-age quality of ambition, and gives him the wiles to see that if the goodies we take for granted are not his, then a snatch-grab is the only way out.”

Rating: 3 stars | Full review

Shubhra Gupta, Indian Express
Shubhra Gupta
“I could see Serious Men almost like a psychological treatise of the times. The hero isn’t apologetic about his class/caste. He wears it on his sleeve, instead. The world around isn’t so easily segregated between old/new-world predators and preys, either. It’s all frickin’ mixed up. Ambition’s a bitch. The only way to get to the top is to work your way around it… This is an absolutely new Nawaz.”

Rating: 4 stars | Full review

Mayank Shekhar, Mid Day
Mayank Shekhar




Serious Men on IMDB

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