There is a beautiful expression in the film “Solo Diós Sabe”, with the Brazilian Alice Braga and the Mexican actor Diego Luna in the cast: the brotherhood of orphans. The protagonists describe people who have lost their father or mother and have an inherent complicity and affection. It makes sense and it’s not new that the movie industry abuses the resource with its protagonists: from Bambi to the Lion King, we’ve always felt empathy for orphans (I’ve already mentioned this here). That’s the way it is with the controversial character Devi, from “Never Never”, whose third season premiered this month on Netflix.
Devi has those characteristics of teenagers that we even avoid talking out loud for fear of our children listening and copying. She is selfish, puts her foot in her hands, betrays friends and doesn’t really care about hurting people. A disaster. The girl always uses the excuse that she was suffering to justify uncommendable attitudes, such as spreading at school that a friend is bulimic, for example. But being starring such an anti-heroine, why has the series been successful for three years?
The nerdy Indian student is an orphan. In the very first episode of the first season, her father died of a heart attack in the audience of an orchestra performance where she plays the harp. And she uses this internal excuse (the maximum suffering) to justify to herself the lies she tells or the dirty tricks she does with those who love her.
Of course, at 16 years old, the dream of being popular in high school or dating the hot boy can cover the sun very well with the sieve when the issue that actually moves your days is missing your father from the moment you wake up until the moment you go to sleep. Devi plays like this and until she disguises it well (for others). But she can’t live like this forever.
Feels that here comes spoiler
If you haven’t seen the third season, from here I give some spoilers.
Devi has an important insight when one of her boyfriend’s friends goes through her father’s belongings and finds a racket that was very special to him. When crying in fear of losing the object, she realizes that she can have the things that were important to him within easy reach, gracing the bedroom wall. The absence of the father figure is materialized there in an object that no longer causes sadness, but the memory of a good affection to feel.
Her grief won’t let go of her, but, she discovers, it now comes in waves. You can be happy in between.
And when sadness arrives, there’s no other way: it’s sitting on the bed smearing your makeup a little from crying. And wait for it to pass.
Over the course of the third season, Devi is judged by some people for being troublesome. The boyfriend ends the relationship begging her to work on her self-esteem. The new mother-in-law finds a way to get her out of the picture because she thinks it’s too complicated and wants better for her son.
Problematic? It’s not like that
She realizes that her loss has built a personality with holes and that’s precisely what makes her exactly what she is. At that moment, after a sequence of reprehensible attitudes, she can even see her as someone about to mature.
“What made me be so intense?” she asks. The public feels strongly the brotherhood of the orphans at this moment. And is there another way to be when you spend your whole life trying to plug holes in order to survive?
As an orphaned sister, I can say it never gets easier, Devi. But it becomes possible. And that’s not someone else’s death guiding your steps — it’s yourself with the holes left by that death. Recognizing these gaps and such intensities is the recipe for a maturity that is less painful than the path that takes us there.
And enjoy the beauty of identification: everything is a little easier when we look to the side and find complicity in the eyes of someone who knows exactly what we are feeling. We can. I should too. Let’s go.
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