Quite strangely, while watching FAIR PLAY (US, 2023) by debutant Chole Domont, I was reminded of Satyajit Ray’s MAHANAGAR (1963). In the Ray classic, a Calcutta housewife is forced to take up a job as a saleswoman to meet the increasing financial pressure of her conservative in-laws’ family. Her husband begrudgingly accepts the situation that begins to play on his insecurity as his wife evolves into a self-confident woman, but they continue to love each other despite all odds. Cut to 60 years later in New York, and we have a fiercely ambitious young couple working at a financial company, trying to claw their way up the corporate ladder. When the male partner is passed over for promotion that goes to his girlfriend, the first rupture in their relationship appears that gradually metamorphoses into mental and physical violence.
Check out the trailer here:
The two films could be a good sociological study of how a society that still has its values intact evolves into a no-holds-barred ruthless strive for success by sacrificing all values that are essential for human existence. Of course, the American film lacks the restraint of the Ray classic and is occasionally high-pitched and ‘Hollywoodish’, but it is still a study worth seeing.
FAIR PLAY (US, 2023) by Chole Domont is streaming on Netflix.
Ranjan Das is a Mumbai based filmmaker & faculty.