Darlings Movie Review: Alia Bhatt and Shefali Shah show how violence against women can be injurious to health

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Film: Darlings

Director: Jasmeet K Reen

Star cast: Alia Bhatt, Vijay Varma, Shefali Shah and Roshan Mathew

Bollywood Bubble ratings: 3.5/5 stars





Darlings Movie Review:

“Statutory Warning: Violence against women is injurious to health” – this message hit me when I first read it in the Darlings movie. There’s one scene in the movie where Shefali Shah’s character asks a police inspector ‘why men turn into monsters after getting drunk’, to which the inspector says ‘because women let them!’ Is it the women’s fault? However, after watching the movie, I realised that maybe it is women’s fault who give men the power to hit them without any objections. Yes, some women give it back, but some succumbed to the situation and tolerated it for the rest of their lives. Darlings is also one of them where a woman tolerates violence until she reaches a breaking point. The movie shows a dark yet humorous take on domestic violence.

In the movie, despite multiple bruises on her pale skin, Badru gives several opportunities to her husband and forgives him for all his heinous work. She gets beaten up because her husband found stones in the rice but she forgives him the next day, why? Well, because she loves him. Yes, that’s the sad truth of how women endure all this rather than fighting it and that’s what we get to see in Darlings. I like how Jasmeet captures the real deal of a woman having an abusive husband as such kinds of men do exist in society.

When her husband crosses a line, Badru then turns the table and does the exact same thing that he once did to her. At one point, I thought that Badru’s reaction and her outcome is justified but it also strikes me how her reaction is wrong. Becoming into a monster just to teach him a lesson can never be justified. One should not stoop down to such a level that one day we start regretting it. I was a little irked when I got to see Badru torturing her husband; not because I was sympathising with him but because I was feeling bad about how an innocent Badru turned into a monster. The movie was somehow going downhill for me until I saw the climax which just brought a sense of sensibilities.


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Badrunissa, a strong-minded woman gets married to her love Hamza Shaikh but her honey phase didn’t last for long when her husband started hitting her for petty things. She finally puts her foot down and decides to take matters into her own hands along with her mother when her husband crosses the line. What follows next is her revenge which is hilariously dark and humourous. But will she succeed in taking her revenge? Will Badru make Hamza realise his mistakes?

Star Performances: 

Alia Bhatt plays the role of Badrunissa Shaikh, a middle-class woman who is timid and extremely naive. However, due to certain events, Badru changes herself and becomes a fearless and strong woman. Her character graph from playing an innocent woman to a strong one is quite impressive and Alia does a fantastic job. I never have any complaints with Alia because she perfectly moulds herself into the character and brings out all the right emotions onscreen. From being completely broken to standing up for her self-respect, Alia manages to emote those emotions with finesse.

Shefali Shah essays the role of Shamshu, Badru’s mother who is feisty and lives her life on her terms. She is a mother who only wants to protect her daughter from her husband’s atrocious acts. Shamshu is a layered character and it unfolds with the pace of the film. Shefali plays her part with utmost conviction. She adds gravitas to her character without overshadowing others. Shefali is a natural as she effortlessly conveys her emotions through her eyes, whether showcasing her vulnerability and concern for her daughter or urging her daughter to leave or finish off her abusive husband. 

Vijay Varma plays the role of Hamza Shaikh, Badru’s abusive husband, who says he turns into a monster after drinking. He doesn’t think once before hitting his wife but acts normal and sorry the next day. Vijay as an abusive husband plays his part convincingly well. I don’t see anyone else who would have played this character well.

Roshan Mathew plays Zulfi and he is a revelation. Though he is seen in the limited screen time, Roshan shines bright in all the scenes. I thoroughly enjoyed his presence in the film.


Overall, Darlings is a one-time watch which is laced with dark humour. Alia Bhatt and Shefali Shah give out a statutory warning that violence against women is injurious to health. It shows that violence against women will only lead to your destruction.

Watch the Darlings trailer after the review: 


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Also read: Alia Bhatt, Shefali Shah, Vijay Varma: Here’s how much the cast of Darlings got paid as fees