Mom: Sridevi’s fine acting saves a cliched narrative

A year ago we saw Ki and Ka and I was personally thrilled by Balki’s initial idea. But instead of breaking stereotypes, the film created more. That’s one of the many problems with mom.

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The film revolves around the character of Devki played by Sridevi and her 18 year old daughter who has been sexually assaulted. The guilty is of course set free, because what is a Bollywood film without cliches? This mother then takes her revenge, again what is a Bollywood film without cliches? Mom is a story with not just these cliches, but many more.

The story is nothing new. It’s like a merger of Raveena Tandon’s Matr and Vidya Balan’s Kahaani 2. There even are scenes borrowed from the 2012 Kahaani. But do we want to listen to the same story over and over again? No! Director Ravi Udyawar seems to be wanting to remake a thriller like Kahaani, but he fails miserably. Had it not been for the fine acting, this film could have gone unnoticed, because there are so many moments when you go, WHHHUUTTT? The ease with which Sridevi takes her revenge is not logical but what is a Bollywood film without cliches? Aur police ka kya hai? Unko toh aasaani se C banaya ja sakta hai!

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It’s a treat to watch Akshaye Khanna as a cop. He’s really good, but doesn’t have enough screen space. Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s talent is something we shouldn’t really talk about, because we all know how good he is. There is one scene in which both of these actors are together and it’s oozing talent. But he plays a very underwritten character. Pakistani actress Sajal Ali as the 18 year old daughter is mind blowing. She plays her part well, but again is not written properly. All through the film, not once do we get to know what’s going on in her head.

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The spotlight however remains on Sridevi. Had she not been in this film, it would have just fallen into pieces. She makes you overlook the potholes in the script and sometimes also the cliches. And such expressive eyes! Even if she doesn’t do anything, you’ll know what she’s trying to say, because the eyes say it all! I’m a huge fan of Sridevi, and I adore her even more after Mom, but that’s her talent, the film is a total mess.

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There is a scene in the film that traumatises you completely, shatters you from inside. It’s late at night and this one black SUV is just moving around on the streets. You need time to come out of it.

All in all, Sridevi, Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Akshaye Khanna are some of the finest actors in the Hindi Film Industry. Mom is no where close to their talent.

If I had to rate the film, it’s 2017, and we still take inspiration from the Mahabharata to take revenge. But today revenge is more like ‘modern art’. Kisi ko samajh nahi aega.

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