CAST: Sridevi, Akshaye Khanna, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Adnan Siddiqui, Abhimanyu Singh, Sajal Ali
DIRECTOR: Ravi Udyawar
DURATION: 2 hours 27 minutes
MOM STORY: The bliss of a biology educator’s family life in Delhi is shattered when her girl, Arya (Sajal Ali) is physically assaulted by Jagan (Abhimanyu Singh) and gang. Does Devki Sabarwal (Sridevi) sit tight for the law to take its course? Or does Devki become Maa Durga and chase down the perpetrators of the crime?
MOM REVIEW: Mom reminds you for the umpteenth time that we’re in Nirbhaya nation. Like different movies on a same subject, debutant Ravi Udyawar’s emotional thriller tells you that India, or should that be New Delhi particularly, isn’t safe enough for ladies, particularly young ladies. And its relevance makes it an important watch.
There’s a lot packed in here. To begin with, the film harps on the dynamics of a teenager’s standoffish relationship with her stepmom. This whole track is beautifully handled. Then again, it is post the teenager’s abduction and assault when the film uncovers its actual facet. To state much else on the real plot is to risk spoiling its surprises.
Rather, it would suffice to state that when the avenging mother is joined by an inconsequential-looking private detective, DK (Nawazuddin), the screen ride becomes edgier and more exciting. There’s additionally a tough as-nails cop, Francis (Akshaye), who remains close on the heels of the vigilantes, adding gusto to proceedings. At times, there is that sense of deja vu that you experience because most parents- searching- for-a-missing-teen films follow certain set devices. But this one still manages to remain ahead with some interesting twists and turns. But it is in the graph and the quality of Sridevi’s character wherein the victory of this script lies.
In her 300th landmark movie (coincidentally produced by her husband Boney Kapoor) Sri shows why she is the high-priestess of desi cinema. Here she turns in a captivating performance; happiness, helplessness, vendetta and victory, she strolls you through the whole gamut of emotions with panache. Supporting her ably is her onscreen spouse Anand (Adnan), who plays the cleaned gent with flair. Nawazuddin, with his quirks and one-liners, turns in a class act and Akshaye Khanna, who is in terrific form here, forces you to ponder why he takes such long matinee breaks.
Dew fresh Sajal Ali, who appears to have grown up viewing Kareena Kapoor movies, appears like a clone of the senior on-screen character. But this is not to take away from her otherwise adept performance. A R Rahman’s background score includes the required chills without diverting and Anay Goswamy’s camera lingers as lovingly on the on-screen characters’ faces as it does on the snow-capped peaks.
Moms are symbol of quality; this motion picture additionally reinforces that.