The title of the film Zwigato appears to be a jibe at the food delivery giants – Zomato and Swiggy but the story and understanding of the film is much more than just the attitude of the company.
Zwigato Movie Review in Hindi: Sitting at home, we order things from our homes as per our needs and delivery boys deliver them to our homes. Sometimes we interact with the delivery boys, and other times we ignore them. But imagine a small compliment from you can help her run the household. If you give them a rating for doing a good job, then they get work from the company and sometimes some benefits too. Delivery boys work so hard for a rating. Their hard work depends on our ratings. Nandita Das’s Bollywood film Zwigato focuses on the same world where survival does not depend on the character’s hard work but on the frivolous nature of the customers. Set in Bhubaneswar, the story revolves around Manas and his wife Pratima (Shahana Goswami), played by Kapil Sharma, and how they work together to overcome the financial crisis by joining their body and soul. Showcasing the plight of a migrant couple in the post-Covid era, Nandita Das’ film is thoughtful on the gig economy.
The title of the film Zwigato seems to be a jibe at the food delivery giants – Zomato and Swiggy but the story and understanding of the film is much more than just the attitude of the company. Written by Nandita and Sameer Patil, the film focuses on an omnipresent character who is an intrinsic part of our lives but never gets much attention. Since the film is set in the capital city of Odisha, Nandita Das took great care of the degree of authenticity in the setting, language as well as dialogue.
Kapil and Shahana are said to be from Jharkhand and have a command over their language. Kapil effortlessly transitions into his character as Manas, who is a victim of economic crisis and the existing system. Kapil has played this character well beyond his comedy style. Shahana on the other hand plays her role as Manas’s wife beautifully. While Manas despairs of being forced to return to the cage of unemployment and poverty by an invisible force, Pratima is the voice of reason with the enthusiasm to work and support her family financially. She is patient and devoted and can even go against her husband to meet the financial needs of her family. Both Kapil and Shahana justify their roles on the big screen.
While Nandita Das never accuses society of being harsh towards these characters or takes an overly sympathetic route to show that they are unhappy, she takes her time to subtly highlight the divide between the rich and the poor. Takes In those moments, she sheds light on how exploitation works in the economic system. At one point Manas also said that “Malik is not visible but slavery is complete.”
The film seems stretched at times to establish the characters in the mind of the audience. The first half is slow and makes us think of the moment when things will turn out for the better for Manas and Pratima. Will he leave his job and find something else? Will Pratima go against her husband’s wishes and take up the job? Will the difficulties lead to the downfall of the family? As we search for answers and hope for a happy ending, Nandita Das reminds us that she never made such a promise.
The most beautiful part of Nandita Das’s story is the ending. Without shying away from the hardships and struggles of the characters, Das manages to end the film on a happy note. There are no sudden dramatic turns or sudden changes in the characters’ lives in Zwigato.