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Mom  : Super Mom Scores
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Friday, July 7, 2017
Drama
Ravi Udyawar
Sridevi, Akshaye Khanna, Abhimanyu Singh, Sajal Ali, Adnan Siddiqui, Nawazuddin Siddiqui

When biology teacher Devki flings her student Bunty’s cell phone out of the window for sending an obscene message to classmate Priya, it should’ve been just another day in school. But when Priya comes home and continues to address Devki as Ma’am across the dining table, you know all’s not well in the family.

 

It’s an absolute treat to watch Ravi Udyawar, a first-time director, in such controlled command of his craft that he lets the tensions in the equations grow and unfold without having to explain any of it.

 

There are two tracks that run parallel and intertwine in a screenplay that turns away from the familiar and the overused. Why Priya can’t accept Devki as her mom is a troubled family issue that explains itself without tiresome back stories.

 

It’s also the story of an avenging mother that culminates in resolving two vexatious situations. The one outside the family where justice is denied leads to Devki turning vigilante using only her brain and bravery which in turn resolves the problem inside the family. It is such a neat screenplay.

 

Ravi executes Girish Kohli’s tight writing with stylish crispness aided hugely by a Himalayan cast and crew led by Sridevi. With a perfect wardrobe provided by Fabeha, Sridevi deglamorises herself to become an immensely believable Devki. This is a worthy successor to Sridevi’s inimitable English Vinglish act as she strides through a gamut of expressions and scenes like the stalwart she is.

 

The entire cast rises to support Sridevi with Nawazuddin Siddiqui once again proving that he can make one chuckle even when there’s tension brewing all around. His timely singing of ‘Zara tasveer se tu’ and ‘Duniya mein logon ko’ evoke laughter and go hand-in-hand with Girish Kohli’s superbly-written dialogues. The subtle changes in brutalized Priya as she begins to welcome sunlight into her life again also show a gifted craftsman at the helm. And the climax brings a tear to the eye.

 

Among the many outstanding scenes are one in an art gallery with Sridevi and Nawaz, a moment of tension between her and champion actor Akshaye Khanna, and another between Nawaz and Akshaye on a scooter and at the police station.With two very efficient Pakistani actors Adnan Siddiqui as Devki’s husband and pretty Kareena Kapoor look-alike Sajal Ali as daughter Priya, the coming together of so many talents gives relief and variety. It’s like a master chef cleverly combining many delicious flavours together.

 

With only AR Rahman’s taal-perfect background score, cinematographer Anay Goswami’s top shots that watch what’s going on, and Monisha Baldawa’s clean editing, the gang rape in the car is effective and aesthetic as is the whole film. 

 

If one must nitpick, there is a bit of convenient writing in places. Like the killer, played by Abhimanyu Singh, leaves a few people still alive for a happy ending. But you can’t quibble when there’s so much on offer like lovely familial moments.

 

For a beautifully crafted crime and family drama, Mom gets a 4* rating.

 

Reviewed by
Bharathi S Pradhan

Senior Journalist & Author
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