By: Omair Alavi
Some films are to be enjoyed with family; some with friends. Sri Devi’s latest Mom is one that can be enjoyed with both as it leaves a huge mark on the minds of the audience due to its brilliant packaging. The action thriller is different to anything Sri Devi has done lately because in this flick, she wins the heart of all with her performance. Just like English Vinglish where she showed that dancing and going over the top is not the only way to impress the audience, in Mom she has raised her game and delivered.
Anand (Adnan Siddiqui) and Devki (Sri Devi) are happily married but Devki’s stepdaughter Arya (Sajal Ali) feels left out from his dad’s life due to her stepmother. One incident changes everything as goons assault Arya and Devki makes it her aim to punish those responsible, after they were freed from the court. With the help of a local detective Daya Shankar Kapoor (Nawazuddin Siddiqui), Devki takes the villains head on and uses her skills as a Science Teacher to make them pay for their deeds. There is an Inspector named Mathew Francis (Akshaye Khanna) who tries to make sense of all this – does he succeed in apprehending the vigilante or does the vigilante get away with her crime. Watch the film to know more!
Sri Devi is the star of this film because she displays emotions like never before. Yes, she was great in Sadma and English Vinglishbut here, her role is closer to reality and she impresses with every passing frame. Be it the sequence where she is in shock, or crying or where she is angry, she is on top of her game. It was refreshing to see Adnan Siddiqui in a role that provided him margin to show his skills as an actor – his reactions to Sri Devi’s action were well captured on screen. He was able to express anger from his eyes and the sequence where he consoles his on-screen daughter Sajal is one of the best of the entire film. Sajal is also a revelation and proves that she is a director’s actor – the better the director, the better her performance. No words can describe her brilliant portrayal of an assault victim and one can easily watch the film again just to see her breath life in what could have been a dull character. Nawazuddin Siddiqui is unrecognizable in his new avatar and although he doesn’t have much to do, he excels whenever he is in the frame. Akshaye Khanna’s return to films is a welcome sign for his fans (including this scribe) and he proves why he and only he could have done justice to the role of a tough cop, with a heart.
The story has been used many a times before – from Charles Bronson’s Death Wish to a number of Bollywood films where vigilante justice is shown to be the right way to deal with criminals. Anyone can guess the story after looking at the trailer but what sets Mom apart from the rest is the way it has been written and executed. There are hardly any songs, which is new thing for a Sri Devi starrer, considering she had become an icon in Bollywood through her moves and steps. The father of the victim Anand – played by Adnan Siddiqui – is shown to be a very law-abiding citizen and he should have had more scenes like the one where he beats the hell out of the criminals inside the court.
Verdict – 3.5/5
Ravi Udyawar’s first film as a director keeps the audience engrossed into the story from start till end. Each character – be it that a minor or a major one – is important to the plot and the credit for that must go to the director as well as the writers Girish Kohli and Kona Venkat Rao. The dialogues and pauses (where expressions replace dialogues) are something that can teach an aspiring filmmaker a lot of things about film making, and script writing. Sri Devi’s return to mainstream cinema proves that if you are a good actor, then age can’t be a barrier. Pakistani actors Adnan Siddiqui and Sajal Ali also prove their worth alongside Bollywood stars Akshaye Khanna and Nawazuddin Siddiqui. Mom is a must-watch flick if you are a fan of spending your money on something worthwhile, because by the time you will exit the cinema, you will be in awe of the eternal Hawa Hawaii.
Story first published: 11th July 2017