There have been films where a parent takes revenge for something that has happened to the child; vengeance has been shown to be violent in movies before, but in Mom, you get to know why the parent takes law in his or her hand.
It is a film for those who love their children and would do anything to protect them. Veteran actress Sri Devi makes her 300th film special by giving a performance of a lifetime – a film where she doesn’t dance like Hawa Hawaii, where she doesn’t get to display her prowess for comedy but where she acts as a mature woman who would do anything to protect her family.
1) The Acting
How would you feel if the culprits who have done a bad deed are set free and the victim’s father is jailed for hitting them, hence held in contempt of court?
You would try to take revenge in a way that no one would suspect you. In Mom, Sri Devi’s character of a school teacher does just that and makes you fall in love with the mother who fears no one.
Despite occasional moments of weakness, she does a Charles Bronson with the aid of a friend and wins the battle she started against those who deserve to be behind bars.
Pakistani stars Adnan Siddiqui and Sajal Ali excel in their father-daughter role and click as if they were meant to play the roles.
Be it their emotional scenes or the ones where they are having family time on the dinner table, they are on top of their game.
Each character has a backstory that isn’t revealed but can be guessed; Nawazuddin Siddiqui as the detective who helps ‘Mom’ in her crusade is not only unrecognizable but also likable despite his hideous appearance.
Akshay Khanna is the surprise factor because he makes a comeback in a tailor-made role and lets you keep guessing as to which side he is on!
2) The Script
Kona Venkat and Girish Kohli must be applauded for a brilliant script and dialogues that keep you glued to the narrative.
While the girl keeps hearing Bula Apni Maa Ko during her ordeal, her mother repeats Aa Gayi Us Ki Maa in front of the hapless villain, responsible for her daughter’s condition.
There were perfect pauses in the script where the actors got the margin to perform. Instead of getting an answer from his wife regarding her refusal to go back to the school as a teacher, Adnan Siddiqui’s character reads her eyes and then takes the anger on whatever is nearby.
Sri Devi’s pauses and her emotive performance is something that wouldn’t have been there had the script not been first-rate. Sajal Ali is amazing in her role as the victim and our directors must note that if they want the actors to give 100%, they must give them a complete script instead of updated ones, which is the way things happen in films and TV, on this side of the border.
— MOM (@MomTheMovie) July 4, 2017
3) The Suspense
By the 30th minute of Mom, you know what the end will be; in fact, you can predict the ‘Death Wish’ of Sri Devi’s character long before she thoughts it out on screen.
But it’s the way the film is taken forward that you will be kept glued to your seats. Yes, the director has taken a few liberties like no security camera in a building that has state-of-the-art fire alarm system, but then that’s a hiccup – the bigger picture is the better picture.
The police suspect the right person in the latter part of the second half but there is nothing they can do without proof.
Even the last nail in the coffin (no to spoilers) is done in a way you wouldn’t have predicted had the script been in front of you. Watch it for the thrill!
— MOM (@MomTheMovie) June 30, 2017
4) The Direction
Mom is ad filmmaker Ravi Udyawar’s first of the many films that he is likely to direct in the future. He never lets you suspect that he hasn’t called the shots of a film before, such is his control over the craft.
The way he has kept the film moving is something others should learn – the interval came at the perfect time while the climax was amazingly well done.
Even his choice of actors from Akshaye Khanna to Adnan Siddiqui to Sajal Aly and even Nawazuddin Siddiqui besides Sri Devi was spot on.
He used a handful of actors in such a way that it gave away the feeling of watching an international film with high production values.
5) The Production
Had it not been a Boney Kapoor Production, Sri Devi might not have been the first choice for the title role but I doubt anyone would have been able to perform better in the role, except for a few recently-turned-ex-heroines.
The producer must be commended for the high production values and the way he has been supporting the Pakistani cast in his speeches and in the film’s promotion.
Sri Devi’s message to Sajal ahead of her film Zindagi Kitni Haseen Hai last year and now before Mom are stuff dreams are made of. Overall, the film is a perfect blend of Indian and Pakistani talent and is rightly going houseful, although more shows would have helped the cinema owners who are still screening Eid releases for no reason.
Omair Alavi is a senior entertainment journalist who tweets at omair78
Disclaimer: Responsibility for the information and views set out in article lies entirely with the author.