Leila is a loud slap on the face of the extremist political groups, be it Hindu or Muslim
Leila is veteran director Deepa Mehta's first Netflix original series. The story is taken by the same titled novel by Prayaag Akbar and re-written by Urmi Juvekar.
Leila, the name-character is a child of a rich family. Their happy and healthy family life is intersected when authoritarian government, Arayavarta's arrangement to purify the citizens, especially women who married outside their religion comes into action.
Watch the trailer of 'Leila' here
Her Muslim father, Rizwan has been murdered by the goon men of the govt. Her mother, Shalini is taken to a place where those women are kept to make them pure.
Here, they have to follow a new and degraded lifestyle and abusive rituals. They are taught to be whole heartedly devoted to Aryavarta.
It's Shalini whose journey from a privileged position to a distressed mother, in search of her daughter makes her able to realize the true face of the state.
In this tale of dystopia class conflict between the civilians is so distinct. They are divided into two communities living in two poles.
Politics and its direct interference in very personal life of the citizens is portrayed so immensely in this six-episode series.
Class and caste privilege in India is portrayed in its peak. In the year 2047, a time hundred years after India's independence, under severe autocracy low-end people are living in a wretched situation.
Climate change and water crisis are two significant elements of this series.
To speak truly, Leila is a loud slap on the face of the extremist political groups, be it Hindu or Muslim.
Though Deepa Mehta has taken her source material from the novel 'Leila', she has directed the series based on the real incidents.
For example, the captives in purification center have to roll over the leftovers of the teachers. Same happened in Karnatak where people from Dalit community have to roll over the leftovers of the worshippers as punishment.
Again, the children in this series are seen to read a comic named "Bal Joshi", a tale of heroic childhood of the leader of Aryavarta, Joshiji. In India also children are reading a comic named 'Bal Narendra' based on the childhood stories of Narendra Modi.
India has already experienced an incident like the "Project Bali Operation" , presented in the series back in 2016. It's evident from an investigative write-up Óperation #BetiUthao" by Neha Dixit where she shows that 31 girls are taken from Assam to Guzrat to initiate them into Hindu religion.
The series focuses on some issues like beating teacher for teaching banned books or for talking against the Govt. This is a common experience in our society.
Coming up to the technical discussion, Deepa Mehta's previous works like Elements Trilogy- Fire, Earth or Water says that she would always keep questioning extremist activities in our society through her work.
Huma Qureshi plays the main character of the story. Through her wonderful acting, she has expressed the multilayered tension of the character so profoundly. Beside this, Siddharth as Vanu and Arif Jakaria as Guru Ma demand appreciation.
After all, Leila's end doesn't meet up the gradual tension it created through the whole episode. Any way, audience are waiting to see if what is coming up in the next season.