11 Jul 2017

Movie Review: Mom: Sridevi Shoulders Average Revenge Tale


Sridevi plays Devki, a biology school teacher, wife to businessman husband Anand (Adnan Siddiqui), stepmom to Anand's rebellious teenage daughter Arya (Sajal Ali), mother to a younger daughter. Arya is resentful of her stepmom. Meanwhile, Arya's porn-sharing, drug-snorting classmate Mohit (Adarsh Gaurav), disturbed by her rejection, resorts to extreme measures, leading to the film's revenge premise.  

Mom is a typical Hindi film revenge tale with huge plot loopholes and a dangerous idea of mob-inspired justice. Castration, cyanide poisoning and planting evidence as revenge for rape is a lowbrow crowd puller, not a solution. Nothing holds, not how the perpetrators are released for lack of evidence or the revenge crimes. The story brushes aside eyewitnesses at the crime scene and crime-incriminating evidence, just like that. The final police-as-accomplice act is even more fluffy. The murders are easily done, as a walk in a park.

Neither a compelling drama nor a wise social comment or a heart-stopping thriller, Mom is solely salvaged by its performances. 

Sridevi rules her scenes, Sajal Ali is very effective as the rape victim, Nawazuddin Siddiqui as a balding small-time detective almost steals the show with much-needed humor and impeccable timing. The very deserving Akshaye Khanna is saddled with a dim, one-dimensional role, so is the menacing Abhimanyu Singh. Both needed backstories for their contrasting actions.  

Mom rides on Sridevi's amazing, enigmatic talent but fails to hold its own. The standout scenes that gave me a shudder - a black SUV going down an empty road to AR Rahman's apt background score. These are the only moments when the film stands apart from the formulaic skeletons of similar Hindi films. Finally, Mom is just a tad above disappointing.    

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