‘Mom’ Review: Sridevi delivers a stellar performance in this film

I wish every woman who has been a victim of eve-teasing, molestation, rape, domestic violence or harassment could get justice in our country. She leads a ideal life in Delhi with her two daughters and a doting husband (Adnan Siddiqui). But Arya does not treat Devki like her Mom.

The handsome Adnan Siddiqui makes a terrific husband to Sridevi. This is made clear not only through choice of character name-Devaki is the mother of Krishna, and therefore not far from a god herself-but also when Dayashankar and her meet in a gallery in front of an abstract painting of a particularly grisly episode from the Mahabharata. Mom is a performance-heavy film and Akshaye and Nawaz both support Sridevi beautifully in totally different ways. The rapists get the taste of their own whip when one by one each of them starts meeting their own fate. But Devki just says that this is “modern art” – it could be her, invisible in the frame but celebrating the red stream of revenge that she has unleashed. Arya dreams of a nice vacation in the hills, while Devki desires that Arya accepts her and call her “Mom” and not ‘Mam’. However, all’s not well as Devaik is the step mom to the older daughter Aarya (Sajal Ali) and is struggling to be accepted by her. Aarya resents the fact that her dad married again after her mother’s demise and makes it a point to let Devaki know that she will never be considered a mother.

High school student Arya Sabrawal gets raped by her class mate Mohit and his aides one of who is a criminal. She pumps in so much life into the film that it is her performance that steals the show. The background score is flawless in setting up the mood.

Cut to next scene, Arya is struggling between life and death in a hospital. This is where a normal person would have accepted the loop holes of the judicial system, but Devki is a rebellion. But Sridevi is helped on her revenge journey by the creepy detective and the police officer assigned to Arya’s case. Satyamev Jayate! But it isn’t easy. He considers Sridevi as the lifeline of the movie and also praised the performances of other actors Nawazuddin, Akshaye, Adnan and Sajal. As Sridevi evolves into a determined avenger even her body language undergoes a change.

Verbal duals between Sridevi and Akshaye Khanna appear staged, as if subtlety was the last thing on the filmmaker’s mind. With great buzz around the film and Sridevi’s presence in the movie it is bound to get audience to the theatres. The word “acting” itself doesn’t fit well when we’re talking about Sridevi as Devki. She continues to be a caring, loving and protective mother.

A mother taking revenge against the rapists of her step daughter has been a profound plot in film over the past several decades. If you aren’t, you’ll have a lot to wrestle with, not least the law’s approval of Devki’s actions.

Has Nawazuddin Siddiqui ever failed to impress?

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