wogma rating: Beg or borrow, but do watch (?)

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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Running time: 110 minutes
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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

16 reviewers(?) - 4 yays 9 so-so 3 nays

Warning: clicking on "full review" will take you to an external website that could contain spoilers.

Thumbs up, by Deepa Deosthalee, Film Impressions : ...The mother-daughter relationship has a lived-in quality that is so rare in Hindi cinema.... full review

Thumbs up, by Martin D'Souza, : ...Looking back is never the answer, Moving on is what life is all about It is more blessed to give than to receive You know that now, Amaya... ... full review

Thumbs up, by K N Gupta, : ...Music by Indraneel Hariharan and Punam Hariharan's lyrics gel well. ... full review

Thumbs up, by IANS, Zee News : ...On Swara, hinges the film`s final impact. She holds up the film most ably.... full review

So-So, Free Press Journal : ...As long as the narrative concentrates on the Leela-Jayant love story it works beautifully. ... full review

So-So, by Fatema H Kagalwala, India Entertainment : ...It is not an easy film to write, direct or perform. While the writing and direction is somewhat loose many times, the performances of the three central actors never falter. ... full review

So-So, by Shubhra Gupta, indian express : ...I liked some of 'Listen Amaya', I really wanted to like it more.... full review

So-So, Movie Talkies : ...If you must watch this film, watch it for Shaikh and Naval and their undeniable chemistry and effortless performance…... full review

So-So, by Aakash Barvalia, MoviezADDA : ...Initial half-n-hour was pleasant and successfully captivates the viewers, but then the graph suddenly drops down a bit. However few interesting and engaging moments in the film grips you again, and raises the graph relatively. ... full review

So-So, by Namrata Joshi, Outlook India : ...Swara Bhaskar was delightfully natural in Tanu Weds Manu, but here she displays just a few fleeting expressions that impress. She is largely mannered and self-conscious.... full review

So-So, by Sukanya Verma, Rediff : ...Even though these events unfold very slowly and simplistically against a bland background score and you know where it’s all headed, the charming presence of these actors keeps you glued to your seats.... full review

So-So, by Roshmila Bhattacharya, Star Blockbuster : ...There is a message in the mundane coffee shop chores, but by the time you get there, you need a cuppa or two to keep from dozing off.... full review

So-So, by Madhureeta Mukherjee, Times of India : ...Avinash Kumar Singh has sensitively handled a strong subject textured with social and psychological complexities.... full review

Thumbs down, by Nikhil Arora, Desi Martini : ... Every character is conveniently assigned character traits and back-stories which spell nothing more than a big fat cliché. ... full review

Thumbs down, by Trisha Gupta, FirstPost : ...much of this film seems stilted and coy, a picture postcard version of upper middle class life that fails ever to come to life. ... full review

Thumbs down, by Swati Rohatgi, STARDUST : ...there couldn’t have been a better choice for the lead pair than Deepti Naval and Farooque Shaikh. The two easily slip into their characters and showcase a very natural portrayal of myriad emotions... full review

9 tweeters(?) - 7 yays 0 so-so 2 nays

VenuSpeak: Damb 2 1/2 ratings! If in 20-40's watch Vishwaroopam. Over 60's Midnight Children over 50's #DontMiss Listen.. Amaya #kvgm

tcajayant: Watched Listen Amaya today. So simple and full of heart! Not even for a moment do the actors make you feel its a film. So natural!

PankajShuklaa: Wow! They still make cinema ! Just watched Listen Amaya. What a wonderful couple Farooq and Deepti make, Still....

cliptrend: Listen... Amaya: Farooque Shaikh and Deepti Naval exude that rare charm which is hard to find in any romance dep...

brahmatmajay: my review of listen amaya ***1/2

bintymehta: Good to see normal looking ppl instead of a botoxed heroine n a six pack hero.Loved Deepti's wrinkles n Farooque's paunch (Listen Amaya)...

1670manoj: "Listen Amaya" - hvng a subplot of wrtng coffeetable book , delivers more than coffeeetable qlty. Farooq Shq & Dipti Naval rocks.

TheAsianAgeNews: #Listen...Amaya is a strangely contrived film set in a cafe which is completely unreal @SuparnaSharma

rajivvijayakar: Listen...Amaya - but when will filmmakers LISTEN to the fact that message movies must be value for money?

3 readers - 3 yays 0 so-so 0 nays

Yay! Thumbs Up, by Krishna Lakhia

Yay! Thumbs Up, by LiL

Yay! Thumbs Up, by Samir

This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.

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):

Lead Actors:
Character Artists:

Listen...Amaya - Cast, crew, links

Official Sites:
Music Director:
Running time:
110 minutes

Comments (8)

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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 :)

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


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.

@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.

@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.


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.

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

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