Sridevi is back with another film after her accolade-worthy English Vinglish, almost five years later. This calls for considerable acknowledgement and excitement.
MomNothing special. Just another average revenge thriller.
Sridevi is back with another film after her accolade-worthy English Vinglish, almost five years later. This calls for considerable acknowledgement and excitement. Mom was marketed as the murder-revenge thriller to look out for, with Sridevi as the unlikely lead and a charismatic Nawazuddin to support her. (Much along the lines of Vidya Balan’s ‘Kahaani’). Boney Kapoor and Naresh Agarwal have produced the film and Ravi Udyawar has directed the production. Music by A R Rahman and Irshad Kamil. The poster certainly has some very big names printed proudly in the footers. However, the question remains, is it worth your weekend? Is ‘Mom’ one of those rare cinematic gems that pass by theaters once in a decade? Or just another average story with an average presentation. Read on.
First, let’s meet the actors:
Sridevi as the ‘Mom’
Nawazuddin as the unofficial detective
Akshay Khanna as the good cop and the bad cop
Sajal Ali as the daughter
‘Mom’ starts the way most thrillers start out. Laying out the basic premise, and showing the perpetrators and victims in a positive light before things go astray. Sridevi is the mother in a conventional nuclear family, and tries to steer her eldest daughter clear of all the pitfalls of adolescence. Her eldest daughter however, is not very receptive to her mother’s advice, simply because she doesn’t accept Sridevi as anything more than her Biology teacher. Very predictably, the daughter, Aria is the unfortunate victim of a physical and sexual assault that catches the attention of the national media. In typical Bollywood fashion, all the pillars of justice fail the family, which is forced to lick it’s wounds silently. But will a mother sit silently? This is the plot.
The issue with ‘Mom’, is that it is a thriller, with an extremely evident storyline. It doesn’t take a mastermind to figure out the whole story from a brief synopsis. This would be acceptable if the film were a drama, or a romance-comedy, but not otherwise. The heart and soul of a thriller lies in the twists in its’ tale, which are almost absent in ‘Mom’.
Sridevi lights up the screen everytime she is filmed. Unlike the brazen yet foolish performance delivered by Aishwarya Rai in the recent ‘Jazbaa’, Sridevi acts with realism and a certain gravity which is necessary in the hero of a revenge-thriller. She plays the part of a subdued school teacher as well as that of a mother pushed to the edge, with proficiency. Her Hindi is a little rough around the edges, and her pupils are strikingly dilated throughout the film, but who are we to nit-pick. If you must watch the film, watch it for Sridevi.
Nawazuddin Siddiqui is brilliant as always in his role as the frail private detective. He is the comic relief, as well as the enigma in the film. His character is also burdened with considerable moral obligations, but he carries it off well. However, we would have enjoyed ‘Mom’, much more, if Nawazuddin had a more meaty role. His character did not get enough time to tell his story. Nawazuddin, rarely ever disappoints.
Akshay Khanna, after all these years, graces the silver screen once again. He is a pleasant surprise, but is sadly once again a victim to typecasting. He has a very limited role, and that too, of the fiery police officer from the ‘crime branch’. He performs adequately.
‘Mom’ is an average film, not because of average performances, but because of a sub-par plot. It is neither enticing nor thrilling. Every aspect of the film, from the plot to the cinematography to the screenplay, is painfully predictable. It is a case of bad writing, if we were to blame. The background score is also sufficiently ghastly. In summary, if you really are in the mood for a low octane, highly predictable murder-revenge-thriller, go watch ‘Mom’. If not, let this one be. We give it 2.5/5.
You will like this film if: You have never watched a melodramatic Bollywood revenge-thriller
You will dislike this film if: You went in expecting something like Drishyam
Best performance: Sridevi