A black jeep speeds its way through a deserted New Delhi road on a pitch dark night, after a happening farmhouse party. An aerial shot shows it halting at a lonely crossroad. Two doors open, and the driver swaps his seat with a person in the rear. A heart wrenching background score gives you the chills. The car starts moving again, and sometime before daybreak, a teenage girl is thrown into a roadside drain. We haven’t been shown the inside of the car, but we all know what could have happened there.
Every other day you scan through the news, social media feeds, etc. one thing which you’re sure to read about is rape. Hundreds of media reports scream of such crimes against women every year, but people simply pick up the pieces and move on with their lives. This movie is not about them. Debutant Director Ravi Udyawar’s Mom beautifully highlights the Mother-Daughter relationship, in the backdrop of a gruesome gang rape in the capital. It is about a mother who decides to avenge the rape of her daughter because the law couldn’t get her the justice she deserves.
Devki (played by the gorgeous Sridevi), is a strict Biology teacher and a loving wife. She is a mother of two beautiful daughters, she seemingly has a perfect happy family. Yet, somehow the true happiness of being a mother eludes her. Arya (Sajal Ali), a sensitive girl cannot accept Devki and her love wholeheartedly, as she is her stepmother. Arya believes, a daughter comes into a mother’s life, but a mother does not enter the life of a daughter. Devki patiently waits for Arya’s love and acceptance as she believes only a mother can truly understand the silence of her child.
The unfortunate incident further distances Arya and Devki, to a point of no return. In such a situation a mother has to make a choice not between what is wrong or right but between what is wrong and very wrong – because Bhagwan har jagah nahi hota… Issi liye toh usne maa banayi hai!
With certain strong scenes – especially when Sridevi breaks down in the hospital (this scene will surely give you chills), when she learns about her daughter being physically abused or when she meets one of the accused at the hospital and says ‘Aagayi hai uski Maa’ or the climax of the movie itself, leave a strong impact and gets you thinking.
The music in the film also plays an important role in creating that impact. The music of this emotional thriller is like tasting beer for the first time; you may not like it instantly, but you will slowly acquire the taste for it, and oh bouy! For Mom, AR Rahman has come up with an album that’s unconventional, both in terms of sounds and treatment. This is not the usual AR Rahman music.
Sridevi Kapoor’s 300th film in Bollywood, Mom has a supporting cast that truly ‘support’ the film passionately. Superb performances by Dayashankar Kapoor aka DK (played by Nawazuddin Siddiqui) & CBI Officer Mathew Francis (played Akshaye Khanna) are a great asset for the film, which brings out the mental trauma experienced by the rape victim just as much as it celebrates Sridevi’s valour. It’s been five years since we saw Sridevi nailing it in English Vinglish (2012). Though she has made a stunning comeback with Mom, I strongly believe that due credits need to be given the real charmers – Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Akshaye Khanna & Pakistani Actor Adnan Siddiqui.
All in all, Mom does what it intends to: Become a film that can hold the audience’s attention for 148 minutes. This one is a must watch, obviously for Sridevi’s one of the best performances, but also because according to me this is a proof how both Indian audiences and Indian Cinema are evolving.
I’m going with a 4.5/5 stars. 4 for the movie and 0.5 stars for the impact it really creates. Have you watched Mom yet? Tell us in the comments section.