A Remarkable Endeavor
TLR Rating: 8 Reels.
MOM (‘Ma’), the first word of a child, the first attachment to the world, the first teacher, the protector, the friend, the guiding light – In short everything!! Motherhood is the greatest gift a woman gets. It is love in its purest form – unconditional and fierce! It’s said when you hurt a child, you are raising the fearless tigress in the mother who can go to any extent to protect her baby. And when you are making a film out of that emotion, you have to be brave as well as cautious. You can’t make a mistake there! Right?! Ravi Udyawar didn’t!! I love it when a debut director takes up that challenge of creating something different in the commercial line of cinema and putting a very simple and raw subject out front on the plate. Ravi Udyawar’s ‘MOM’ is one such example.
Deviki (the ageless Sridevi), a loving wife and mother of two girls finds herself in the gruesome situation. She has to select between “galat aur bohot galat” (wrong and very wrong) when her elder daughter is brutally (and I am not exaggerating) gang-raped by a bunch of rich brats. Deviki is bewildered after finding out that the rapists are set free after their trail. She can’t digest the pain of her beloved daughter (who is now in a state of emotional coma). All hope on the justice department was lost. She decides to take things into her hands and takes her own kind of revenge on the rapist lot with the informative help of a private detective DK (the quintessential Nawazuddin Siddiqui)!
What makes ‘Mom’ a worthy watch is the acting of the leads and their power-packed dialogue delivery. Sridevi did more than justice to the role of a maimed mother. In the scene when she gets the medical confirmation of her daughter being raped, the intensity with which she bursts out truly makes us uneasy in the gut. The way with which she delivers her dialogue, from asking help from the detective to confronting the rapist is remarkable. You can feel her pain and empathize with her satisfaction when she takes her revenge.
Nawazuddin is a method actor. There is no doubt in it and he proves himself every time he is on screen. It’s like he can’t act bad. He simply can’t. Even if you pay him he can’t!! First of all, he is unrecognizable in the movie (believe me it took me more than 10 min to make my mother believe that he is Nawazuddin). And secondly he is the appetizer for the film. His comic timing is perfect. And of course his command over dialogues is unparalleled.
It’s true that Akshaye Khanna never rose to fame. But he has always done justice to his roles and he maintains that here too. He plays the stern cop and doesn’t steal the screen much. But whenever he did, he did it with command.
Sajal Ali, who played the victim, gave an upholding performance throughout the movie. From showing hatred towards her stepmother to being traumatized after the incident, she was an unexpected diamond in the rough.
Ravi Udhyawar tried to think in a different line. He portrayed Sridevi as a loving Stepmother to a girl who hates her for taking her late mother’s position. But Deviki still is determined to go to any length for her. He could have made her the victim’s actual mother. But then it would have been too obvious. He puts forward to us that motherhood has nothing to do with blood. It’s all about what a child makes a woman feel when he/she calls her “MOM”!
The chink in armor:
No doubt the movie is great in its own way and it’s an appreciable attempt from a debut director. But when you explore the areas of a revenge based thriller you can do so much more. We expect you to give us more. To throw us back in our seats and to make our jaws drop down. The ending should be with a bang!! I felt the intensity to cool down through the course. It just failed to get on that rack of ‘phenomenal Bollywood’ movies, like ‘Haider’ or ‘Gangs of Wasseypur’. It’s a shame as it had so much potential!
The music was from the creative bag of the legendary composer A R Rahman. Although it wasn’t something exceptionally out of the box, two compositions “Chal kahin door” and “O sona tere liye”, did add a soothing effect to the whole scenario. A perfect background score.
The movie is surely a must watch for all the splendid performances and to admire the efforts of a launching director. But don’t keep your hopes too high!! And if you have watched revenge thrillers like ‘Oldboy’ and ‘Kill Bill’, then surely your adrenaline threshold will be too high for this movie to reach!!
The author has always been intrigued by the stories we read and see, as we are in one ourselves. She loves watching sci-fi, suspense-thrillers, and adventure / action films and for her the whole world is divided into two types of people: one which loves harry potter and the other who doesn’t exist for her!!!