Mom: Predictable emotional saga
The distinguished performances of Sridevi, Nawazuddin Siddique and Akshaye Khanna set it apart from its ilk
Mom reiterates the fact that India, more precisely New Delhi, is not safe for young girls. It takes us back to the horrific days of Nirbhaya and captures the traumatic experience of a family. The film is an emotional ride, and shows incidents stunningly relevant to our society today. It also reinforces the fact that resort parties will make things miserable and chaotic for young girls.
The relationship between step-mom Devaki (Sridevi) and daughter Arya (Sajal Ali) is fragile. Then, we have the father Sabareesh (Adnan Siddiqui) who acts as a catalyst between the two. Their strained relationship is depicted well. The actual story unfolds when Arya is abducted by Jagan Sinha (Abhimanyu Singh) and his friends, who physically assault her and throw her into a ditch. The incident further tears away at the relationship of the step-mom and daughter, but a devastated Devaki doesn’t wither away and instead takes control of the situation with a willing helper -- private detective Daya Shankar Kapoor aka DK (Nawazudding Siddique). After losing faith that the law will provide the justice that her family deserves, Devaki, a biology teacher by profession, tracks down the culprits and redeems her relationship with Arya, bringing back a smile on her daughter’s face.
Cast: Sridevi, Nawazudding Siddiqui, Akshaye Khanna
Director: Ravi Udyawar
We have seen many films with similar stories, and director Ravi Udyawar hasn't been able to add any novelty to the tale. Usually, thrillers will keep you on the edge of your seat, building tension as you keep guessing what will happen in the next frame. But here, the narrative moves at a sluggish pace and works against its genre. Perpetually switching between emotion and revenge, Mom might have been better if handled as a racy thriller. Things become a little scrambled after a point, with the focus being on showcasing the acting prowess of Sridevi. Also, the cops lose out on major clues and the missing logic is what makes Mom a snooze-fest. How Sridevi gets away with the crimes is also not explained well. Had the director explored the dreaded side of the criminals, given how mean Abhimanyu is shown to be, the film would have come close to a classic like Pink.
But, what sets Mom apart are the distinguished performances of actors Sridevi, Nawazuddin Siddique and Akshaye Khanna. Sridevi delivers a measured performance and proves why she is hailed as one of the finest actresses of this era. Nawazuddin Siddique steals the show in a film that’s centered around the veteran actress. Akshaye Khanna plays a crime inspector with great composure. One wonders why he is not doing many films these days! Sajal Ali, who has an uncanny resemblance to Bollywood diva Kareena Kapoor, does alright.
Cinematographer Anay Goswamy’s creates a warmly appealing lived-in ambiance. AR Rahman’s background score is engaging. Overall, Mom draws inspirations from a few films and a more screen-friendly length would have made it an interesting watch.