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Why you should watch Pradeep Sarkar's short film 'Hickey'

The short film, Hickey, portrays the process of developing an affection for things in life that were previously a source of shame.

In many societies, including India, the process of selecting a life partner is often influenced by external factors such as caste, religion, social status, wealth, and property. These factors can overshadow the importance of love, compatibility, and familiarity in a relationship, and result in individuals being forced to make decisions against their wishes. The pressure to conform to societal expectations can be particularly challenging for women, who may face additional expectations and constraints on their behavior and choices.

Pradeep Sarkar's short film, "Hickey," explores the complex challenges faced by unmarried Indian women in their late twenties, and the impact of parental expectations on their lives. The protagonist of the film, Savitri, is a 27-year-old woman who is persistently pressured by her parents to choose a "suitable" partner and get married. Despite being in a loving relationship, she is unable to express her feelings to her parents, fearing their disapproval and rejection. This reluctance to confront her parents creates a sense of anxiety and uncertainty, leading to recurring nightmares and a dependence on medication.

Savitri's situation is not uncommon in India, where arranged marriages remain prevalent and family honor and tradition often take precedence over individual happiness and fulfillment. However, the film also highlights the impact of this pressure on an individual's mental health and emotional well-being. The stress and anxiety caused by concealing one's true feelings and desires can be overwhelming, leading to a sense of isolation and hopelessness.

The discovery of a hickey on Savitri's neck serves as a catalyst for change in the story. Her attempts to conceal the hickey from her parents and society reflect the shame and embarrassment she feels about her relationship, and the fear of being judged and rejected. However, as the events of the film unfold, Savitri gradually gains the confidence to confront her mother and express her true feelings. This transformation is a powerful reminder of the importance of being true to oneself, and the freedom that comes with embracing one's own desires and needs.

"Hickey" is a poignant and thought-provoking film that speaks to the experiences of many young women in India and beyond. It highlights the challenges and pressures faced by those who are forced to make decisions against their wishes, and the toll this can take on their mental health and well-being. At the same time, the film offers a message of hope and empowerment, reminding us that it is never too late to embrace our true selves and pursue our own dreams and desires.