90 ml movie cast: Oviya, Bommu Lakshmi, Masoom Shankar, Monisha Ram, Anson Paul
90 ml movie director: Alagiya Asura
90 ml movie rating: 3 stars
I look around me, pleasantly surprised by the reception for Oviya when the camera zooms on to her. It is not because of Bigg Boss Tamil exactly, but for whatever she is. The actor plays Rita in 90 ml. She is not your ideal samaththu ponnu. She smokes. She drinks. She is in love with no strings attached. She is unapologetic. She is a free-spirited woman. But everyone likes her. In Rita’s words, it is her “bungalow”; her “rules”. It takes a lot to appreciate such a character in Tamil cinema because you are often told how a woman should behave, what she should wear and how she should speak.
When Rita steps into the apartment, she quickly makes friends with a group of women. She changes their WhatsApp group’s name to ‘hot chicks’. Hoots and whistles follow almost every act of Oviya’s. Those five women bond easily over alcohol, stories and weed.
I quite like how the chemistry between them never feels fake. Thamarai has a troublesome rowdie husband who doesn’t listen to her. Kajal’s husband has an affair with another woman. Suganya is in a relationship with someone whom she thinks she can never end up with. Rita has a word of advice for all of them. “Don’t sacrifice your happiness for someone else.” 90 ml is much more than its obvious intent. It largely depends on whether you want to see it or not.
When was the last time you saw a film that was vocal about women discussing their sex lives, besides casually joking about one’s breast size? Oh, are you scandalised by it? Suck it up. Or, when was the last time you saw a man making omelettes for his partners’ friends? It’s interesting to see the role-reversal where a man “does the things that typically a woman does.”
Alagiya Asura aka Anita Udeep understands she is not trying to make another Magalir Mattum and keeps the characters flawed yet real. That works to the great advantage of the film.
90 ml has many scenes that will shock conventional theater-goers. For instance, there are intimate scenes between a lesbian couple.
I step out of the theater and see a group of men discuss Oviya’s character. I overhear the conversation and they say, “Idhu dhaan feminism-a da? Illa, Iruttu Arayil Murattu Kuththu part-2.” But honestly, I vouch, it’s not. 90 ml is total fun—nothing less, nothing more. Some may find this film empowering. But half the population may dismiss it saying, ‘women aren’t supposed to do whatever men do, and this isn’t feminism’. Why do you talk about ‘feminism’, when you don’t understand what it is—in the first place? After all, “there’s no such thing as right or wrong, and everything else is simply perspective”, correct?