Mom

wogma rating: The keen should rent; else TV/online (?)

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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Director: Ravi Udyawar
Running time: 150 minutes
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Mom - Preview

For a film about a mom's angst, Sridevi seems admirably restrained. The trailer gives it a sense of controlled concern while still being an edgy thriller.

While I don't think of Mom as Sridevi's come-back because she did do English Vinglish. However, if a return after 5 years is a come-back, the theme reminds me of Jazbaa. It bothers me that a lead actress from yesteryears, is more likely than not to come back as a mother – that too whose child is in deep trouble.

That's why I hope it is at least as much a thriller as it is about a mom's angst, if not more.

Mom releases on 7 July, 2017.

Music Reviews:
Indian Express - "that there is a composer who has the gall to try exploring the unchartered territory, is commendable"
Milliblog – in a 200-worder "From the familiar and the bizarre… to eventually the highly unconventional – Rahman covers an interestingly varied range"

- meeta, a part of the audience

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.

While the overall plot is as run-of-the-mill as the next revenge thriller, some subtleties are done really well.

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

35 reviewers(?) - 22 yays 13 so-so 0 nays

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

Thumbs up, by Jonathan Howell, Bolly Spice : ...The tense atmosphere is also greatly down to the music, provided by industry-veteran A. R. Rahman who has composed over 150 film scores over his 25 year career. If you think that you’ve not heard his work before then you’re probably not taking into account such global hits as Slumdog Millionaire and 127 Hours. His score for MOM is yet another example of how this film shows a polish and slickness with its production that you might expect from a Hollywood film, except this was made on a much smaller budget. ... full review

Thumbs up, Bollywood Hungama : ...On the whole, MOM is a powerful film that reflects the horrors of the society that we live in today and how the world still remains unsafe for women. The film shocks and impacts you deep within. Watch it for it’s hard hitting content and Sridevi's brilliant performance. ... full review

Thumbs up, by Tushar P. Joshi, Bollywood Life : ...Mom is a must watch because of the powerhouse performer that is Sridevi. Despite the shortcomings, the film keeps you on the edge solely because of her stellar act. ... full review

Thumbs up, by Bhavini Trikha, Desi Martini : ...You enter the theatre with lot of expectations and leave smiling and satisfied. A must watch film. ... full review

Thumbs up, by Smita Vyas Kumar , Desi Martini : ...In balance, Mom is a movie worth a watch. It has a different story; certain twists are sharp and ruthless which is essential for a crime story and it has a strong emotional base. I would have wished for faster, more furious but then dil always maange more, isn’t it? ... full review

Thumbs up, by Rahul Deo Bharadwaj, Desi Martini : ...Do not miss Mom if you love tales of retribution. They make very few of them in Bollywood now and this one is bloody different. ... full review

Thumbs up, by Disha Dhingra, Desi Martini : ...Devki is the mother who inspires women to uplift themselves. It is a treat to watch! One surely won't be disappointed.... full review

Thumbs up, by Aavishkar Gawande , Desi Martini : ...On the whole, MOM comprises intriguing story line with marvelous performances. It will be liked by Family audiences a lot. Though not the best , but one of the finest revenge dramas made so far in Bollywood.... full review

Thumbs up, by Sarita A Tanwar, DNA : ...MOM packs a solid punch and deserves a watch for its gritty content and Sridevi's heroic performance. ... full review

Thumbs up, by Rachit Gupta, Filmfare : ...The action and the suspense approach distracts from the much more powerful story of mother, daughter and a family slowly nursing itself out of tragedy. But that’s how it plays out. The crucial moment in the climax though, makes it all worth the while. Mom is quite literally a thrill-a-minute ride. Its scenes are powerful and the best part is, the effort put in by the actors. Director Ravi Udyawar crafts an intense, taut and gratifying thriller. It’s a must watch.... full review

Thumbs up, by Vishal Verma, Glamsham.com : ...MOM is an important film for three reasons. 1) - Its testimony that Sridevi is one of the most accomplished actresses alive, 2) Ravi Udyawar is a filmmaker to look out for and last but not the least - it's a salute to motherhood and womanhood. ... full review

Thumbs up, by Manjusha Radhakrishnan, Gulf News : ...But that shouldn’t stop you from watching this taut thriller studded with some superlative performances. ... full review

Thumbs up, Indicine : ...Conclusion: Mom fulfils the promise it lays out in its trailers of being a taut, psychological drama/thriller. It is a tense movie which deals with a very difficult subject material. It has tremendous performances from almost all of the cast members, it has been shot with a lot of care to lend a moody treacherous vibe to the film. Yes, it is idealistic and the solution it provides may not be realistic but it gets a lot of things right. Mom definitely deserves to be seen. Sridevi’s renaissance is in full swing. ... full review

Thumbs up, by Ahana Bhattacharya, koimoi : ...A.R Rahman’s background music creates just the right impact for a story like this. I liked the track Chal Kahin Door and O Sona Tere Liye crooned by the composer himself. ... full review

Thumbs up, by Mayank Shekhar, MiD DAY : ...And while most thrillers tend to overstay their welcome beyond 90-minutes' screen time, this one doesn't feel almost two-and-half hours long. If anything, far too much is going on here. You might question a lot. But so much of it works. ... full review

Thumbs up, by Jaidev Hemmady, Movie Talkies : ...To sum it up, don’t ignore this film just because you have seen Maatr, because Mom is in a league of its own and absolutely worth a watch…... full review

Thumbs up, by Kunal Guha, Mumbai Mirror : ...A dialogue in the film explains that God isn't omnipresent, and hence he created mothers. But the mother in this film is prepared to battle with Beelzebub, if he were to as much as niggle with her offspring. ... full review

Thumbs up, Sify Movies : ...Mom is an important film. Though its theme is nothing new the debutant director ensures a vigorous accountability to almost every scene. You may be tempted to wonder why Mom seems such a special film with almost every shot exuding a freshness and a secret relevance that may or may not be revealed at any point.It's just so reassuring to have Sridevi around. Thank God some things never change. This is one of the best films in recent times. And not only because of Sridevi. ... full review

Thumbs up, by Meena Iyer, Times of India : ...Dew fresh Sajal Ali, who seems to have grown up watching Kareena Kapoor films, seems like a clone of the senior actor. But this is not to take away from her otherwise adept performance. A R Rahman’s background score adds the required chills without distracting and Anay Goswamy’s camera lingers as lovingly on the actors’ faces as it does on the snow-capped peaks. ... full review

Thumbs up, by Meena Iyer, Times of India : ...Dew fresh Sajal Ali, who seems to have grown up watching Kareena Kapoor films, seems like a clone of the senior actor. But this is not to take away from her otherwise adept performance. A R Rahman’s background score adds the required chills without distracting and Anay Goswamy’s camera lingers as lovingly on the actors’ faces as it does on the snow-capped peaks. ... full review

Thumbs up, by Rummana, yahoo! India : ...Like I said, I would have preferred a more seminal end for such an engaging story. Still, the film is immensely more watchable (in comparison) to the past few Bollywood thrillers such as Bejoy Nambiar’s ‘Wazir’ or even Sujoy Ghosh’s ‘Kahaani 2’. ... full review

Thumbs up, ZEENEWS.COM : ...It's just so reassuring to have Sridevi around. Thank God some things never change. This is one of the best films in recent times. And not only because of Sridevi. ... full review

So-So, by Anna MM Vertticad, annavetticadgoes2themovies : ...The emotional pull of the first half and Sridevi’s acting excellence notwithstanding, Mom in many ways is as dangerous as the loud, raucous, not-even-pretending-to-be-progressive-about-women commercial Bollywood of the 1970s and ’80s. ... full review

So-So, by Baradwaj Rangan, Blogical Conclusion, The New Sunday Express : ...A film like Mom is designed to make the good people in the audience feel a little less impotent. At least on screen, justice is served.... full review

So-So, by SUPARNA SHARMA, Deccan Chronicle : ...Mommy, though excellent and significant, is too lofty, and a bit scary.... full review

So-So, by Samedha Arora, Desi Martini : ...The director, massively holds that brilliancy. Mom is not a lighthearted weekend watch, nor is something new on the platter. Mom is just a compelling thriller drama, that is suitable for selective audience. Maybe not the story, but for the seat fixating delivery of the actors is worth the watch.... full review

So-So, by Johnson Thomas, Free Press Journal : ...But what holds your attention through all that muddle and contrivances is Sridevi’s bravura turn and Sajal’s strong screen presence. Udayavar manages to keep the narrative fairly taut but the tempo and suspense is not sharp enough. This one is better than most of the riff-raff that passes off as mainstream masala but it’s not among the best for sure. ... full review

So-So, by T J Reddy, fullhyd.com : ...On a whole, Mom works a much improved revenge thriller from the bigwigs of Bollywood. The film does boast - and really goes out of its way to boast - of intelligent sequences. However, it trades in thematic complexity for that as it works on elevating itself from the run-of-the-mill vengeance dramas. I'm treading some delicate waters here, but one has to consider the fact that the audience's intelligence has risen several notches, and a predictable tale of good vs. evil with a hefty dose of flavor-of-the-month feminism thrown into the mix doesn't move the dial on the quality metre as it did in Sridevi's heyday. ... full review

So-So, by Rohit Vats, Hindustan Times : ...The good thing is, Mom does what it intends to: Become a film that can hold the audience’s attention for 148 minutes. There are no intricacies that unfold step by step (it’s mostly predictable, really), but Girish Kohli’s screenplay ensures an entertaining drama... full review

So-So, by Sushant Mehta, india today : ...kers risked some disturbing sequences including some very light dose of gore which you get in abundance in epic Japanese and South Korean films but the director was gritty enough to include such scenes and themes in an Indian film.... full review

So-So, by Uday Bhatia, Live Mint : ...Mom is a strange brew: audience-appeasing thriller, relationship drama and social commentary all rolled into one. To Udyawar’s credit, he manages to make it look cohesive, even as he struggles to contend with the moral quagmire of revenge and opts instead for the escape of pulp. ... full review

So-So, by Manisha Lakhe, Now Running.com : ...A R Rahman's music is not phenomenal and you begin to question why in songs does the word 'doooor' (far, in English) is always sung out long drawn... The cinematography is good (especially in Kufri, shown in the last segment of the film). It seems tedious simply because Bollywood seems to think women (and blind man) wake up to revenge only of their wives or daughters (or themselves) are raped. That's a sad way to make woman-centric films.... full review

So-So, by Sukanya Verma, Rediff : ...The film's predictability is not as much an issue as its messy climax that loses much of its drive and darkness to accommodate wishy-washy masala tropes, an ill-timed Rahman ditty and reckless ideas of fair play. ... full review

So-So, by Nandini Ramnath, Scroll.in : ...The courts fail Devaki and her husband Anand (Adnan Siddiqui). Investigating Crime Branch officer Mathew (Akshaye Khanna) is sympathetic, for a change, but all of them can only watch helplessly as the four perpetrators, which includes Devaki’s classmate, walk away in glee. Devaki’s eyes harden into the firm stare that is common to movie vigilantes. With the help of well-meaning shamus Daya Shankar (Nawazuddin Siddiqui), she gets to work. ... full review

So-So, by Namrata Joshi, The Hindu : ...Mom is also better-paced, is quick to cut to the chase in the first half (though it huffs and puffs its way in the second) and the emotions, though as high-pitched, are more finely calibrated. What’s more the mother-daughter relationship gets an interesting twist with the fact that she is not her biological child. But what all does the step-mother have to do to win the girl over, to have her call her mom instead of ma’am!... full review

Twitter reviews for this movie are not available.

2 readers - 2 yays 0 so-so 0 nays

Want to Watch, by Anuj

Yay! Thumbs Up, by Amit Jadhav

Yay! Thumbs Up, by Fan

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

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:
Story:
Lead Actors:
Character Artists:
Dialogues:
Screenplay:
Music Director:
Lyrics:

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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