Mom movie review: Nawazuddin Siddiqui steals Sridevi’s thunder in this revenge drama - Hindustan Times

Mom movie review: Nawazuddin Siddiqui steals Sridevi’s thunder in this revenge drama

Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By
Jul 16, 2017 10:28 AM IST

What stops Sridevi’s Mom from getting closer to Pink is its inability to get inside the criminals’ minds. Nawazuddin Siddiqui is in top form in Mom. Here’s our movie review.

Cast: Sridevi, Nawazudin Siddiqui, Akshaye Khanna
Director: Ravi Udyawar
Rating: 3/5

The posters of Mom created a good buzz. Sridevi and Nawazuddin Siddiqui on one such poster.
The posters of Mom created a good buzz. Sridevi and Nawazuddin Siddiqui on one such poster.

A black car speeds its way through a deserted Delhi road on a pitch dark night. An aerial shot shows it halting at a lonely crossroad. Two doors open, and the driver swaps his seat with a person in the rear. The car starts moving again, and sometime before daybreak, its occupants throw a teenage girl into a roadside drain.

Hindustan Times - your fastest source for breaking news! Read now.

We haven’t been shown the inside of the car, but we all know what could have happened there. Hundreds of media reports scream of such crimes against women every year, but people simply pick up the pieces and move on with their lives. This movie is not about them. It is about a mother who decides to avenge the rape of her daughter because the law couldn’t get her the justice she deserves.

A likeable-yet-strict biology teacher Devaki (Sridevi) is your average parent who wants to keep tabs on the social life and friends of an adolescent Arya (Sajal Ali). She is Arya’s stepmother, and is probably why Arya doesn’t seem to trust her. The child’s rape threatens to further tear them apart, but Devaki is determined to not let that happen.

Now, all this may sound like the recently released Maatr, where Raveena Tandon played a mother who moves mountains to punish her daughter’s rapists. Though Mom is similar in tone, the previous film didn’t have actors like Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Akshaye Khanna and Adnan Siddiqui.

The supporting cast turns out to be a great asset for director Ravi Udyawar’s film, which brings out the mental trauma experienced by the rape victim just as much as it celebrates Sridevi’s valour.

Dayashankar Kapoor aka DK (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) is the real charmer in Mom. He knows exactly when to switch gears and how to look timid despite being in the spotlight. The actor’s understanding of his reel-life character comes to the fore in an interrogation scene with crime branch cop Mathew Francis (Akshaye Khanna). DK is scared like any other law-fearing citizen, but he still summons the courage to retain his composure in the circumstances.

And, of course, there are his one-liners. When told that a certain piece of modern art costs Rs 50 lakh, he murmurs: “Isse toh achcha main paan thuk ke bana deta (I could have made a better painting by spitting betel juice on canvas).”

Akshaye Khanna has a good screen presence in Mom.
Akshaye Khanna has a good screen presence in Mom.

Overlook Akshaye Khanna’s twitched eyebrows for a few seconds and you’ll start appreciating his sarcastic tone. He remains underutilised, though, probably to give Sridevi more screen time. The movie seems to be headed in the right direction, complete with an excellent emotional outburst by Devaki inside a hospital in the first half, but the story soon begins to waver.

What stops Mom from becoming more like Pink is its inability to enter the minds of the criminals. Abhimanyu Singh is definitely menacing, but his accent is nowhere close to what his character should have. Other typically Bollywood liberties have also been taken to reduce the stature of the movie from a gut-wrenching film to a slightly above-average revenge drama.

Watch: Facebook Live discussion on Mom and Guest Iin London

Verbal duals between Sridevi and Akshaye Khanna appear staged, as if subtlety was the last thing on the filmmaker’s mind. They fail to achieve what Nawazuddin Siddiqui does with a single glance. Just one look at his own daughter, and you know whose side he is on. No words are needed.

Pakistani actor Adnan Siddiqui leaves his mark in Mom.
Pakistani actor Adnan Siddiqui leaves his mark in Mom.

To give credit where it’s due, Mom does fan the audience’s anger against people who indulge in anti-women crimes. However, it never intends to create a full-blown fire that would change the attitude of potential criminals in similar situations. Instead, Sridevi takes it upon herself to deliver justice – thereby undermining the authority of law and related machinery. This is where Pink excelled.

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.

It’s been five years since we saw Sridevi nailing it in English Vinglish (2012). Though she has made a stunning comeback with Mom, I still believe it’s Nawazuddin Siddiqui who scores here.

Interact with Rohit Vats at Twitter/@nawabjha

Unlock a world of Benefits with HT! From insightful newsletters to real-time news alerts and a personalized news feed – it's all here, just a click away! - Login Now!

Get more updates from Bollywood, Hollywood, Music and Web Series along with Latest Entertainment News at Hindustan Times.
Share this article

    Rohit Vats is a film journalist who loves to read in between the lines. He can spend hours watching films and cricket matches. Also a script consultant.

Story Saved
Live Score
Saved Articles
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Sunday, February 25, 2024
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Follow Us On