Mom - Review

wogma rating: Catch on DVD for sure (?)
quick review:

It is slow, it is very predictable. Yet, it is watchable. That's something, right? Mostly for its performances.

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The philosophy that revenge is making an aware choice between evil and worse evil is not new. It almost sanctions evil as the right thing to do. There are no surprises there. Yet, Mom as a revenge movie is engaging. To make an engaging movie out of a not-so-engaging story is quite a mean feat.

In fact, Mom is so predictable that if you put the trailer and the theme together you can predict the climax a good half an hour before it begins, if not even earlier. “How” it happens has a twist and the challenges that come in the way are unexpected, but that is not what keeps you hooked. Also, the pace is not swift so you are not really at the edge of your seat. The moments stall more to let you soak the emotion in, rather than to create suspense.

This emotion I think is what keeps you from getting bored. The parents' sorrow and frustration is apparent yet not once goes over-the-top. Maybe because every time my teenage daughter steps out of the house alone, the tiny nag at the back of my mind doesn't relent, till she's back – it is easier for me to get involved in the film. Maybe because though I can't put myself for a moment in Devki's (Sri Devi) place, I find my comfort in only sympathising with her – I feel like I would have engaged even more had the topic not been so close to reality.

That is the power of the performances. Adnan Siddiqui, Akshaye Khanna, Abhimanyu Singh all play their part without getting in the way of the story. Interestingly on Nawazuddin Siddqui as DK seemed a little out of place because the character is quirky – slightly away from the tone of the film. Both Sridevi and Sajal Ali bawl their eyes out without a decibel seeming out of place. Even as I child I had to work hard on ignoring Sridevi's accent. It didn't help that the roles she played in those times required her to overact. Here, she is in control and the script supports her restraint.

While the overall plot is as run-of-the-mill as the next revenge thriller, some subtleties are done really well. For instance, the role reversal in genders before and after are such subtle examples of sexism. Not the kind that we can blame movies for. The kind we appreciate in movies because that's how a day in the life of a typical woman is in real life.

I don't know if Mom could have been a better film if the writing were tighter. Its pauses had a reason that might not be in line with that of a thriller. I don't know if Mom could have been a better film if the writing at least tried to be unpredictable. What I know is I will look forward to director, Ravi Udyawar's next work. I wouldn't mind watching more films written by him, Girish Kohli or Kona Venkat Rao. I certainly want to watch the next Sridevi film, something that I couldn't imagine saying 25-30 years ago. That is good enough.

- meeta, a part of the audience

Parental Guidance:

  • Violence: Entire movie is based on rape and revenge
  • Language: Clean
  • Nudity & Sexual content: Rape is implied and not explicitly shown
  • Concept: Revenge = choosing between evil and worse evil.
  • General Look and Feel: It has a grim, grayness about it. Slight lightness brought about by Nawazuddin Siddiqui's character, else slow and dry.

Detailed Ratings (out of 5):

  • Direction: 3.5
  • Story: 2.5
  • Lead Actors: 4
  • Character Artists: 4
  • Dialogues: 2.5
  • Screenplay: 2.5
  • Music Director: 2
  • Lyrics: 2

Mom - Trailer

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Comments (5)

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Fan:

Glad to read in your "Nudity & Sexual content" section that rape is implied but not explicitly shown." Sign of a responsible and mature film maker who does not resort to sensationalism or cheap erotic stunts. Looking forward to watch the film tonight - already much reassured by your nudity ratings.

Fan:

OUTSTANDING!!!

Extremely rare are those occasions where I get the honour and privilege to watch a film where as soon as the end is signalled and the entire audience bursts into a spontaneous applause. Mom is in that category.

The main 3 characters are in the best of form. Sridevi has packed so much power in her act that one can be forgiven to forget Sadma and believe that this is her career best performance. Akshay and Nawaz are equally brilliant in their acts.

The film is a taut thriller. The pressure is built relentlessly. So high is the pressure that the few and excellent comic moments serve as valves to ease off the pressure. The climax is built superbly. You, as a regular film watcher, can sense that the climax is approaching. And then in a classic Hitchcock style the inevitable is stretched out a few minutes later thanks to a song. Which only increased the palpitations.

Dialogues are from the heart too. The best of course being their tagline. Background score is perfect, helping mount up the pressure.

All in all a movie not to be missed. If you have to skip one meal to be able to have the money for the tickets then do skip the meal. This is classic. Straight in the category of A Wednesday or Kahaani.

Just a word of caution. The film is not for the faint hearted. It is extremely heavy watch. If you can't handle such type of films then don't force yourself to watch it. For all the rest, enjoy the film.

Fan:

Disclaimer: I was never a big fan of Sridevi despite her being a Numéro uno for several years, and despite Sadma. The strong nasal tinge in her voice, the facial expressions, etc. were nothing exceptional. I strongly believed that if she reached Numéro uno status it was more due to the vacuum left by the decline of Hema Malini and the few years before the arrival of the next generation in the shape of Juhi Chawla and others. But honestly Mom is a game changer for her at the age of 50+. The strong nasal tinge, expressions etc. are still present in Mom, even though a bit subdued as compared to the late 1980s. But the gamut of emotions that she presents in Mom is huge. From a cheerful mom of two, to a strict yet caring teacher, to the typical mom worried to death with her daughter partying out at midnight, to the trauma of seeing the daughter in a near death situation, to the trauma of coming to terms with a post sexual abuse tragedy, .... she performs superbly. I had never realized that she is capable of portraying such high levels of emotions and be able to move effortlessly from one mood to another.

Anuj:

@Fan : Where's your boycotting of Pakistani artists now? :P

Agree with you on Sridevi except for the fact that the next generation post her's was dominated by Madhuri Dixit alone & not Juhi Chawla, at least by box office charts.

Amit Jadhav:

"Writer beautifully captures the agendas of female empowerment and the role of society depicted from the two movies. "Anarkali Of Ara" and "Naam Shabana" though they are miles apart still they hit a common chord". Read more here
http://cinemawallah.com/2017/04/28/anarkali-of-ara-and-naam-shabana-are-they-two-sides-of-the-same-coin/

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