Mom Movie Review: Sridevi, Nawazuddin Siddiqui shine in a film that could've been so much more | PINKVILLA

2021-1-4

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MOM shines through it all and it is mostly Nawazuddin Siddiqui who shines brightest. It’s no surprise anymore but being pitted against Sridevi is an insurmountable challenge.





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There’s nothing that Mom offers to its audience that Raveena Tandon‘s Maatr didn’t. Based on the same theme, similar narrative, the Sridevi starrer is somehow an obviously well fleshed out watch. Ravi, the director, is a fan of subtlety which is what makes Mom such a delight to watch. The rape scene which is of paramount importance is shot with great dignity. We are shown nothing else except a car stopping at frequent intervals, right out of what our national dailies scream about. But there is human angle to this. The teenager who is defiled is someone we are made well acquainted with. She has her adolescent issues added to which she shares a strange equation with her Mom, played by Sridevi, who is, in fact, her stepmother. She calls her Ma’am, as she is also a teacher in her school. There is much angst in how their bond is layered for the screen. There is an emotional attachment, hesitancy, reluctancy and yet, something unsettling brewing between them. Which is why the scene where Sridevi breaks down in the hospital is a punch in the gut. It’s almost soul stirring to hear her wail. Adolescent issues, alright, a mum is a mum after all.

Stuck in the processes of courts and legal discrepancies, justice is denied. A kind cop backs them but what can you really do in such a scenario? One can’t possibly sit and watch the rapists walk scott free, one of them her class fellow they will bump into frequently. Thus, a plot is hatched to avenge the wrong. What feels unreal here is the concept of vengeance itself. How far is too far? Is it justified in anyway? For some reason, the revenge itself, in this case seems like a tool to salvage the broken relationship between the mother and daughter. Arya, the kid could never really forgive her stepmother for coming between her and her father.

Once the real revenge drama starts off, it’s done at snail pace. It comes way too late to make a stirring impact and Ravi wastes much of his energy on the details of the setting, over the details of the plot. You could forgive the first timer because he hasn’t made a vain film and by no means a bad film. But here’s a film which should have been so much more. As he throws open the debate on right and wrong, he himself seems most conflicted in his view, an effect which is mirrored in the film. The psychological impact of rape is one absolutely ignored in the film as it busies itself with revenge, a theme it doesn’t even entirely do justice to.

Shining through it all, is the film’s cast, mostly Nawazuddin Siddiqui who shines brightest. It’s no surprise anymore but being pitted against Sridevi is an insurmountable challenge. Akshaye Khanna is pitch perfect but only if his part was better written. Thankfully, he doesn’t let it become caricaturish and the credit is all his. Sridevi shoulders the film ably, evening out its many pitfalls, imbuing it with soul and the caressing mom touch. And winning your heart will be Sajal Ali, the girl who is unable to fathom the magnanimity of what has happened to her.

We rate it 60% on the Pinkvilla Movie Meter.

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