“License”, an emotive movie on women’s rights and combatting child abuse

By Trailerman Sam

It was rather quiet sitting back home and seeing life moving from one year (2023) to another (2024) just within 24 hours a few days ago. So as not to feel ennui or fatigued on the sofa, I got hold of two newly-released Tamil movies.

It was a choice between “Nayanthara’s Annapoorani: The Goddess of Food”, a 2023 culinary drama film and “License”, a women-centric social awareness movie with the debut of Rajalakshmi Senthil as Bharathi (remember the female vocalist of Chinna Machan, a hit Tamil song?).

I opted for “License” (released on Dec 29, 2023) as I unwrapped a family pack of chocolate mini bars to enjoy the run time of 1 hour 56 minutes and 38 seconds of the mostly gynocentrism movie.

(Nayanthara’s Annapoorani would rather be slotted to another time when I have that big bowl of fried rice).

“License” predominantly assumes the form of a documentary drama written and directed by Ganapathi Balamurugan. Besides Rajalakshmi Senthil and Radha Ravi as the main characters, Natarajan Jeevanantham, Pala Karuppiah, Abi Nakshatra, Dhanya Ananya, Vaiyapuri, and Jeeva Ravi also have prominent roles.

“License” is a story about Bharathi, a government school teacher who applies for a gun licence to combat child sexual abuse. This makes her the talk of the town.

And she is constantly harassed by the media and other quarters who want her to drop her court case for the gun licence. The film follows her journey as she overcomes these hurdles and fights for justice for the victims of child sexual abuse.

Bharathi, portrayed by Rajalakshmi in her debut movie, emerges as a relentless advocate for issues solely concerning women. Continually overcoming obstacles from her formative years, she becomes an unwavering champion, fearlessly confronting the exploitation, harassment and sexual assault on women.

A heartwarming story, it also sheds light on the issue of child abuse and its impact on young lives. The film is a powerful reminder that society has a role to play in protecting children and ensuring that they are safe from harm.

The movie begins on an excursion around a public school with an accent on child and teenage girls being abused. Kick starting the movie is a young 10 year old Bharathi, who brings her policeman dad’s gun to school to shoot one of her male classmates who has been harassing her.

The climax of the movie is when Bharathi is driven to action by the widespread injustices perpetrated against women, particularly by men, and seeks a gun licence. Yes, you heard it correctly, not a driving or a motorcycle licence but a gun licence!

Well-versed in guns like a 2mm Calibri, a Berretta 3032 Tomcat or the famous Glock series, she fights to seek the court’s permission for the age of eligibility for women to own a pistol be brought down from 21 to 18 years. Supported by a young lawyer whom she regards as a brother, Bharathi tenaciously fights for women’s rights throughout the movie.

If you happen to be an emotional person with a sensitive heart, have a box of tissue handy. Bharathi’s facial expressions with realistic tear drops could be tear jerkers.

So, will Bharathi win her case and finally buy herself a bullet blaster? Go watch “License” to find out,