Listen...Amaya - Review

wogma rating: Buy the DVD already (?)
quick review:

Listen...Amaya is a sweet, urban tale of a mother and her adult daughter. Watch in theater, not for cinematic brilliance but for a story well told.

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Wogma Review

Mature love, love between a mother and a daughter, insecurity that a child might feel about her parents however old she might be - all this weaving in and out of memories as a theme. Listen...Amaya has to be one of the sweetest films I have seen in the last few years. Yes, there are moments of drama and there are very few moments that you wish were done better. But, for the most parts Listen...Amaya is a warm, touching film that keeps you engaged with its characters and how relatable they are.

Amaya, Amaya's mother, Leela and the friends they make through their cafe are all very urban characters which make them very homely for us, the multiplex audience. It poses a few questions. The questions themselves or the fact that they were asked has the potential to make even the most liberal of us consider their appropriateness. What can make an adult daughter of a modern mother, both women of today, uncomfortable?

The insight of some of the dialogue, small one liners stay with you when you walk out. The rest of the dialogue is the everyday kind you would hear in any of the city households and yet it is not mundane.

The dialogue is made fresh by some wonderful performances by the lead characters. Deepti Naval and Swara Bhaskar are so comfortable and make you so comfortable about them that you forget you are watching a movie for a bit. You are completely involved in their interactions, so invested in their relationship for most parts of the film. Farouque Shaikh brings with him peace and stability as his character Jayant goes in and out of frames. You really begin to care for the aging Jayant, and his failing health.

If only, the side characters could match up or even be half the potential of these three leads. Everytime, anyone other than these three is on the screen you are jolted into reality that it is only a film after all.

Then there's a song that comes out of nowhere, ill-fit despite it's old-school-ness. Also, maybe for the build-up, the one necessary character transition came a little too quick. But, the manner in which the film ends makes up for the things that it misses. The matter of death of those you love and how different people deal with it differently, how time heals and how we associate loyalty and memories is brought about beautifully.

A small gem like this makes the word 'genuine' spring for itself. A sweet story that would've meant nothing but for the performances. Performances which would have meant nothing if the story wasn't what it was. A film that makes your day not seem like a waste.

- meeta, a part of the audience

Parental Guidance:

  • Violence: None, except a small scene with a character hurting herself out of anger/guilt/depression.
  • Language: Clean
  • Nudity & Sexual content: None. But some talk about sex.
  • Concept: That of love, companionship and memories of those you love.
  • General Look and Feel: Neat and clean-cut. No glam, not rusty either.

Detailed Ratings (out of 5):

  • Direction: 3.5
  • Story: 4
  • Lead Actors: 3.5
  • Character Artists: 2.5
  • Dialogues: 3.5
  • Screenplay: 3.5
  • Music Director:
  • Lyrics:

Listen...Amaya - Movie Details

Listen...Amaya - Trailer

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Comments (8)

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Sunil Deepak:

I am glad to read a positive review of this film. Hardly anyone has reviewed it and the one review that I did read, was negative. However, reading about the film, I had a feeling that I will like it, so I am happy that review confirmed my feelings :)

meetu:

@Sunil I liked it, in fact, the more I think of it, the more I like it. :)

Lil:

Absolutely loved the movie. I was trying to relate it to movies from mid eighties and could only think of masoom and ijazzat which kind of had this quality. Too bad there were only 15 people in the theatre though. I worry that such gems may be lost forever in this era of 100 cr blockbusters.

meetu:

@Lil Yay! *happy dance* always such a joy when others like the 'little' films that you like!

Krishna Lakhia:

I just managed to see this film and only because my wife insisted that I see it with her on DVD. She of course has been scanning the internet for the past 4 months because the film did not release in Hyderabad at all and she was desperate to see it.

I was very pleasantly surprised at how good the film was, because my threshold for Hindi films is set very low. It was refreshing to see a film that was sensitive, well directed and beautifully acted. I did hate the first song though and almost got up to go read, but I'm glad I stayed to watch it to the end.

Of all the other reviews on IMDB, yours seems to be one of the very few which speaks highly of this film! That itself is mildly disturbing and more than a little disconcerting.

I hope films like this continue to get produced, because I've just become an enthusiastic fan of the makers of this one.

meetu:

@Krishna I'm glad you gave it a chance and liked it too. At the same time it's disappointing that so many people didn't like it as is evident from our External Reviews. But, what is heartening is of the 9 reviews I could find on Twitter, most of them liked it. So, hopefully, slowly the trend is changing.

Samir:

A gem that ought to have received more critical acclaim. Your review does it justice, though. For me it was in the same class as 'The Lunchbox'. These are people you care about.

meetu:

@Samir :D hmmm...I wouldn't compare it to The Lunchbox. Both have their own space, no?

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