In the tapestry of the 1960s, where societal norms and familial structures held sway, Aachar and Co. skillfully weaves the intricate story of the Aachar family, led by the staunch patriarch, Madhusudhan. A quintessential man of principles, he molds his family to the contours of his aspirations, blending the typicality of the time with his vision for a prosperous future. Set against the backdrop of old Bangalore, the family comprises twelve members: a father, a mother, three sons, and seven daughters.
What Happens In The Film?
Madhusudhan, a civil engineer with a coveted government position, enjoys the luxuries that come with it: a sprawling house, a car, domestic help, and a driver. Yet his demeanor reflects the conservative values of the era, deeply rooted in the belief that education is paramount. He yearns for his sons to follow in his footsteps, becoming engineers with esteemed government positions. However, reality trudges along with aspirations, and the three sons harbor dreams of their own. Sudhee, the eldest, reluctantly toes the path of engineering, landing a job that doesn’t meet his father’s expectations, leading him to believe that no matter what he does, he will never be able to satisfy his father. Raghu, the second son, seeks a career as a sales representative, which only earns his father’s disapproval.
The youngest of the trio, Jaggu, shares a kindred spirit with his sister, Suma, both of whom are lackluster in their studies. However, Madhusudhan’s lens of gender bias affords Suma a pass for her academic shortcomings, while Jaggu faces relentless scrutiny. Despite the familial luxury, it’s evident that Madhusudhan and his wife, Savithri, maintain a disciplined household. The kids are forbidden from using the car, and they walk or cycle to their destinations. The couple strives to instill Madhusudhan’s principles in their children, cementing the foundation for their future. Amid this atmosphere, Suma emerges as an enigmatic figure, fervently desiring marriage to a settled man in London, in contrast to her sisters’ more traditional ambitions.
The family dynamics undergo seismic shifts, and the household brims with bustling life as sons get married and grandchildren come into the picture. Yet Madhusudhan’s old-world views hold the family together, clashing with the evolving aspirations of the new generation. The house becomes a symbol of constriction rather than cohesion, stifling the burgeoning desires of the sons and daughters. Amidst these tensions, Sudhee’s promotion to Delhi heralds Madhusudhan’s unexpected demise.
The family grapples with the loss, shattered and vulnerable. Being the oldest son, Sudhee makes the decision to move on and accept the job in Delhi, leaving Raghu to take on the mantle of decision-making. As he grapples with a household teetering on the edge of paucity, he decides to ask Jaggu and Suma for help. When he asks them to take up jobs, Jaggu lies about taking one at a local factory, and Suma refuses a permanent teacher’s job in the hopes that she will be married soon. However, adamant that she marry only a well-settled man based in London, she refuses all the proposals that come her way, fervently believing that she deserves to lead a comfortable life. When the proposals soon dwindle and start arriving for her younger sister Uma instead, she grows livid and impatient, accusing Raghu of wanting to never get her married.
When Dr. Krishna, a Ph.D. holder, arrives with his family, which is insistent on getting their son married to a well-educated girl, he refuses Suma’s alliance and asks for Uma’s hand instead. When Uma sees no option but to agree, Suma has a war of words with Raghu, who yells at her for killing her own chances at a better life. When his wife makes him see reason, a guilty Raghu apologizes to Suma for raising his voice and being rude.
How Does Suma End Up Shouldering Her Family’s Responsibilities?
An unfortunate accident ends up killing Raghu, leaving the Aachar family in shattered pieces. Suma, laden with guilt over her last argument with Raghu, takes it upon herself to shoulder the family’s responsibilities. Despite her 10th-grade education, Suma’s journey is an emblem of resilience as she navigates the labyrinth of life’s challenges. As the torchbearer of her family’s destiny, Suma treads an uncharted path. Amid the family’s fragility, Suma steps into the light. However, she is not alone in her endeavors and finds a strong support system in Jaggu, who takes up a job at a factory. Keeping their individual aspirations on the back burner, the two propel their siblings and family toward a better future. Suma encourages the twins, Leela and Gowri, to take up jobs after their graduation, to which they happily agree. She finally realizes how right Raghu was when he said he wished freedom and independence for his dear sisters. Suma, on the other hand, finds herself making and selling pickles whenever time permits after her teaching job. The brother and sister duo, with their hard work, are able to marry Uma off to Dr. Krishna. Soon, Jaggu discovers love and companionship in a relationship that transcends societal expectations, emphasizing the potency of genuine connection. He gets married to Arati, whose parents do not object to their alliance because they have had many suitors turn their backs on their daughter because of her height. Despite being a double Ph.D. holder, Arati does not mind marrying Jaggu, even though he is not as educated as her.
However, life rarely unfolds without complications. The intricate web of relationships brings its share of adversity as Uma’s tumultuous marriage comes to light. Suma’s unwavering support and strength catalyze Uma’s journey toward liberation, highlighting the profound power of solidarity. This pivotal moment underscores the film’s exploration of societal ills and the resilience of individuals determined to reshape their destinies. As the narrative hurtles toward its climax, the sisters’ choices reflect their nuanced understanding of personal fulfillment. Leela, once apprehensive of marriage, finds harmony in an alliance that values her ambitions. Suma’s journey from a temporary teaching job to a path of pickle-making serves as an emblem of her transformation. The labor of love to sustain her family gradually transforms into a women-led enterprise, challenging societal norms and celebrating the empowerment of women. Through Suma’s endeavors, the film delves into themes of entrepreneurship, women’s liberation, and personal growth.
With every twist and turn, Aachar and Co. paints a portrait of change. The family’s odyssey is intertwined with Bangalore’s transformation, mirroring societal shifts that foreshadow a modern era. The film serves as a poignant reminder that the human spirit is resilient, capable of adapting, evolving, and finding solace even amid adversity. In its tapestry of events, Aachar and Co. encapsulates a vivid spectrum of emotions, from the joy of familial bonds to the agony of loss, from the weight of responsibility to the exhilaration of newfound dreams. Through Suma’s journey, the film illustrates the remarkable capacity of individuals to transcend limitations, inspired by the shared purpose of upliftment. In the end, Aachar and Co. is more than a cinematic experience; it’s an emotional journey. It beckons the audience to reflect on their own lives, to honor the dreams that define them, and to stand united with their loved ones in the face of adversity. As the final frames fade, the legacy of the Aachar family lingers, a testament to the indomitable spirit that propels ordinary lives into extraordinary stories of resilience, change, and the enduring power of love.