Netflix’s “The Cage” is a Kuwait television series directed by Jasem Al-Muhanna, which revolves around a bickering couple who visit a marriage counselor named Dr. Nasser to save their conflicted marriage. The story also talks about Nasser’s complicated love life, but it’s not clear if Nasser, who has saved a lot of marriages from breaking up, will get married or not in the end.
‘The Cage’ Plot Summary: What Happens In The Series?
The story opens in the clinic of marriage counselor Dr. Nasser. Every married couple visits him with a lot of strange complaints and marital problems. Zaid and Rawan are one such couple who come to resolve the issues and work on their marriage. In their initial complaint to Nasser, Rawan and Zaid explain that their fight is over a sunny-side-up egg. Nasser is perplexed since Zaid and Rawan both have different interpretations of the events. He asks them to revisit their pre-marital romantic experiences when the couple used to date each other.
Rawan and Zaid’s relationship began in the era of the telephone and recording cassettes, and they got married on August 2, 1990, when Saddam Hussain invaded Kuwait. So, the couple believes that their marriage is a bad omen. Through a car accident, they came to know each other and finally fell in love. Although Rawan was afraid to approach Zaid because of her stern mother, Zaid made every attempt to initiate contact. Finally, when Rawan’s mother discovered their secret relationship and forbade her to go out, Zaid, heavily influenced by the advice of his friends, decided to marry her. He even convinced Rawan’s father with a marriage proposal, breaking off her engagement to an NRI doctor from Michigan. Even though Rawan and Zaid’s wedding was set in stone, Rawan’s mother never accepted Zaid completely. Saqr, the husband of Rawan’s sister, was a man of superior position who was likewise devoted to his wife, so that’s why, Rawan’s mother preferred Saqr as a son-in-law. Unlike Zaid, who was raised in a patriarchal environment and came from an orthodox family. Even though Zaid professed to love his wife, he forbade her from working after their wedding or even from having children when she desired.
In the meantime, Nasser has his own problems as well. He has his sweetheart, Lamiaa, a café owner, whom he calls his dear friend. Nasser does not want to wed Lamiaa because he has dealt with so many marital issues in his professional career that he has grown afraid of dealing with his own. Hanan, who was a life coach as well as Nasser’s neighbor, fell in love with him and stepped in as a “third party” to the troubled love relationship between Nasser and Lamiaa. Although Hanan is Lamiaa’s best friend, she always attempts to outdo her in the race to win Nasser. But Nasser makes it clear that he only loves Lamiaa, but he does not wish to pursue marriage, despite Lamiaa’s desire to become his wife.
Zaid and Rawan, who attend Nasser’s counseling sessions, describe their pre-marriage lives and the problems that arose once they got married. Flashbacks suggest that Zaid discredited Rawan in every manner, ultimately eliminating her, but Nasser never holds Zaid accountable for this in any of their sessions. Instead, it appears that he is more concerned with Rawan’s mental stability. This is a fairly typical situation in a Middle Eastern country. Anyway, Zaid succeeded in getting Rawan pregnant, but he was not even the least concerned about it. Zaid’s conduct did not alter even after their baby was born. Even his mother was also blinded by superstitions, so instead of taking Rawan to the doctor while she was pregnant, she tried to feed her herbs, to which Zaid didn’t say a word in protest.
Zaid’s sister, Gamoush, had a neurotic disorder and kleptomania, i.e., an addiction to stealing. But instead of helping his sister, Zaid made fun of her. Eventually, Zaid’s ego was hurt when Rawan and Gamoush visited the doctor without asking his permission. Nasser also criticized Rawan in his session for this incident. The third-party, Rawan’s mother, who has been disparaging Zaid for so long and giving her daughter the bad advice to take her husband by force, failed in her own life when she learned that her husband had had a second wife for three years. Nasser comes to the final conclusion that the involvement of a third party always causes the majority of marriages to fail. If this third person is known and avoided, life will be joyful. Finally, Rawan acknowledges that she only sought counseling to ease the stress in her marriage out of fear of becoming like her mother. She heard Zaid tell her that he would never consider divorcing Rawan because he would love her till his dying breath. After he saved Rawan and Zaid from getting a divorce, Nasser went back to his beloved Lamiaa.
Why Was Friendship More Important Than Marriage for Nasser?
Nasser was a marriage counselor who was afraid of experiencing marital conflict because he was tired of helping couples work through their issues. Despite all of this, he once had the courage to marry. However, the marriage ultimately ended in divorce. Following his divorce, he met Lamiaa. While Lamiaa, Nasser’s girlfriend, was highly gorgeous and gregarious, she was secretive about her desires. They both used to consider each other more as friends than as a couple, but Lamiaa had always craved more. Nasser, meanwhile, was extremely averse to commitment and did not want to sully their relationship by wedlock his lover. One of the reasons for it was Nasser’s fear of commitment, which he had harbored in his mind, and secondly, he did not think that after marriage, his best friend would remain the same. So, in an effort to save the beauty of the relationship, he chose not to marry her.
Although Nasser avoided commitment, he was, in fact, emotionally devoted to Lamiaa, and despite Hanan’s best efforts to win him over, Nasser expelled her from his life. This was because Nasser and Lamiaa shared a level of understanding that he was unable to sense in any other woman in his life. Nasser was irritated when Hanan surprised him with a birthday cake because he never wanted to be distracted when he was at work. He even believed that Lamiaa wouldn’t disturb him if she were present. After realizing the third person in their relationship, Nasser immediately avoided Hanan and rushed back to Lamiaa. He came up to Lamiaa and gave her a bouquet to express his love for her. Although it remained unclear if they would wed or not, there is still some optimism that they were able to overcome the marital law, which allows for a relationship to take precedence over social conventions. From a different perspective, both of them can live happily without getting entangled in marital issues.
‘The Cage’ Season 1: Ending Explained – Why Did Rawan and Zaid Want to Fix Their Marriage?
After falling in love with one another and getting married, Rawan and Zaid’s pre-marriage romance quickly walked out the door. Zaid, the patriarch of a very orthodox family, forbade his wife from going out to work or even just hanging out with friends. Even in the beginning, Zaid showed a lack of interest in Rawan’s maternal needs. Rawan was a timid and submissive girl whose husband treated her precisely the same way she had been handled by her domineering mother since she was a small child. Zaid could have simply given up his patriarchal thoughts to better understand his wife, but in a Middle Eastern country, it would have been a more difficult step.
Instead, “The Cage” emphasizes why Zaid was dissatisfied with his marriage: he was never liked by his mother-in-law and was always humiliated. But the humiliation that Rawan has faced is not a main concern of the series. Even, Nasser’s reaction to the incident was normal, and thus he completely ignored Rawan’s internal conflict during the therapy session. The primary cause of this is Nasser’s complete lack of concern for finding out who is guilty or innocent in a marriage. He just has one query: if, as Zaid claims, “marriage is a cage,” then why are they attempting to mend their marriage rather than breaking free from it? Therefore, if the couple came to him for therapy, he would show them the path without urging them to continue living in the shadow of their past. Thus, Nasser concluded that Rawan and Zaid wanted to mend their marriage just because they were always in love with each other. They thus did not want their wedding to be in vain in the opinion of a third party like Rawan’s mother. Rawan eventually figured out that she went to therapy because she feared becoming her mother.
Nasser, too followed his own advice and hurried back to his lover, avoiding any form of third person’s presence, just the way he had counseled Zaid and Rawan and saved their marriage. So, we can conclude it was a happy ending for all four people. But if not, we’ll get a second season with another set of problems that Nasser will solve with grace and wit.
The Kuwaiti television series on Netflix, “The Cage,” turned out to be a dull effort in the romantic comedy subgenre. You can think that the series has a sarcastic undertone, but from a distance, it looks like a bad representation of a potentially strong message. The plot starts promisingly but midway shows where it’s headed. Even Nasser, who broke the fourth wall, in the beginning, showed a potential for good humor through this device, but it seems like the makers completely forgot about it for the rest of the series. “The Cage” suffers from a weak execution and unimpressive creative choices, and the only saving grace of the film is its decent performances.
“The Cage” is a 2022 Drama Romance series directed by Jasem Al-Muhanna.