MOM Movie Review: Sridevi as Devki has reached the zenith of effortless acting, Nawazuddin a surprise package
MOM Movie Review: A compelling drama, set in a grim theme, Mom has Sridevi in the titular role shouldering the film with Nawazuddin Siqqui, Akshaye Khanna and Pakistani actress Sajal Ali. The movie already created a sensation among movie buff owing to a number of reasons. Firstly, the veteran actress Sridevi was making a comeback in Bollywood after four years. Last, she was seen in Gauri Shinde's family drama English Vinglish. Secondly, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, being the personal favourite of many, can be seen in a jaw-dropping avatar of a personal detective. Sridevi plays the central character Devki Sabharwal whose teenaged daughter played by Sajal Ali is brutally raped by four deranged men. Will she be able to avenge her daughter?
Mom, as the name doesn't suggest even remotely, is a revenge drama based on a school teacher, Devki whose step-daughter Arya is brutally assaulted and raped by four men in a moving car. Though the case was brazenly narrating the crime, the witness and forensic reports were scrupulously manipulated by one of the acussed, who had a far reach in the world of crimes. Devki, who initially knocked the door of the law of to get justice for her daughter, is hope bereft. She loses every drop of trust in law and police she had in her and decides to take the matter in her own hands. Being a Biology teacher, she uses her learnings from the subject to vanquish the wrongdoers. She is kept up by a Daryaganj-based personal detective Dayashankar played by none other than the ace-actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui. When no one on the Earth could have imagined a 'Mom' and a simple school-teacher to conspire such criminal activities, Sridevi executes her plan with her pawn (DK). The rapists get the taste of their own whip when one by one each of them starts meeting their own fate.
Right from the first half of the film, the audience will get a mild deja vu from the recent Raveena Tandon film 'Maatr' where a woman avenges the rape of her daughter. Irony lies in the title of both the films whose names derive the meaning from the same word 'Mother'. The fact that 'Mom' differs from 'Maatr' is the big names studded in the star cast and a better execution of the story. Right from the beginning of the movie, the rift between the daughter and mother can be seen clearly. Sajal Ali, playing a daughter who can't cope up with the death of her mother and remarriage of his father, is just like any other teenage girl would be. She ends up into the most unfortunate night of her life when she decides to go to a farmhouse party with her friends. Her life takes an ugly turn when a boy she rejected along with his accomplices, gang rapes her in a moving car. The scene where a black SUV is seen toiling on the deserted roads of the metropolitan with a callous background score haunts the audience for a couple of minutes. Arya and her family's happy lives were devastated by the incident. Just like any other Bollywood crime flick, court extends a blind eye towards the case and acquitts all the four accused. This is where a normal person would have accepted the loop holes of the judicial system, but Devki is a rebellion. She seeks help from DK, who later becomes her co-conspirator to plan the revenge.
The end is somehow predictable. It's always th victory of good over evil. Satyamev Jayate! But it isn't easy. The climax is something that brought the movie somewhat lower than our expectations. When we're talking about Sridevi and Nawazuddin Siddiqui, cliches are the last thing we could expect from the film. In th end, Sridevi and the last rapist exchange some blows until the culprits points his gun towards her. But thanks to Akshaye Khanna who again puts the ball in Sridevi's court.
For Sridevi's lovers, this movie is a walk down the memory lane, where the gorgeous actress has once again mesmerised the audience with her acting skills. The word 'acting' itself doesn't fit well when we're talking about Sridevi as Devki. She has absorbed the role of a mother so deep in herself that we forget at a moment that she isn't the one we're seeing on the screen. Her histrionics have been constant throughout the film, except for the parts where she really blew our minds as mother whose daughter has been raped. Her realistic performance is going to give you a lump in your throat.
Nawazuddin Siddiqui has never disappointed the audience when it comes to acting. Give him a role, and he'll outlive it. Same he did with the character of DK in 'Mom'. His treacherous way of dressing can give someone an impression of being a villain. But analyzing his contribution to Devki's revenge, he's playing the 'Wazir' in the movie. Audience will develop a mixed feeling of sympathy and pride for this middle-class detective who steps ahead to help a dejected mother.
Akshaye Khanna has done justice to the amount of screen space he was given in the movie. Provided that he's an exceptional actor, the makers could have extended his role to some more bit. We get too little of our once-favourite 90's actor in the movie, but he outshines as one of the best supporting actors Bollywood has seen. Sajal Ali remains on the same plight as Akshaye. Getting too little to do in the film, except to shed a gazillion tears, Sajal gets too little to do in the second half of the film.
Worth mentioning here, A.R. Rahman's background score has raised the bar of the movie by two times. The film couldn't have been this intriguing without the blood-curdling and riveting background music and songs.
Overall, 'Mom' could have met the similar fate as that of Bollywood's previous revenge dramas, but the praiseworthy performance by every single of the cast is the saving grace of the movie.
To watch or not?
Sridevi fans cannot afford to miss this movie, where Sridevi breaks her own records of effortless acting. Despite the fact that it is Ravi Udyawar's first directorial venture, the film has lived up to the hype. With things right into their place, Mom is a must watch who're eagerly looking for some substance in Bollywood films.