Sridevi’s 300th film, produced by her husband Boney Kapoor and directed by Ravi Udyawar, comes in the 50th year of her film career. Imagine what 50 years of being in front of the camera can do to an actor. At 53 years old, there’s a slight but sure tremble in her voice. Her performance, however, stands solid. Some crucial scenes in the film and some not-so-crucial ones, like the one where she clutches the car steering with trembling hands after escaping a near-fatal accident, for instance, are the places where her vast experience comes to life.
The film is basically a thriller which seeks inspiration from the tragic Nirbhaya incident. Not the first to deal with the issue of rape (more recently, Raveena Tandon’s comeback film Maatr dealt with the same issue), Mom’s portrayal of the incident as it unfolds in the film is one of the most calmly brutal, chilling sequences I’ve seen in recent times. A black SUV cruises through the Delhi roads. Aerial shot. A haunting BGM. AMAZINGLY SHOT! Kudos for this scene!
The film’s first half is racy and riveting. The second drags in comparison. Also present in the second half are some scenes that could have been cut off. With tighter writing, especially in the second half, Mom could have made a stronger impact. Also, I need to mention here that Mom does away with long monologues that we have come to expect from movies of this genre. I mean, Sridevi could have been given lengthy-ass dialogues to mouth in, I don’t know, court or something, and the gallery would have erupted with thunderous applause! There’s no preaching here, save for the subtle, mild yet solid one-line dialogues here and there. Nawazuddin gets one of those dialogues and the man nails it, of course.
One thing I would remember from this movie for a long time to come would definitely be Sajal Ali’s performance. She bears a striking resemblance to Kareena Kapoor and delivers a knockout performance. It’s so hard to believe that this is only her second feature film. I would love to see her perform in many more movies.
Akshaye Khanna is alright but there’s no real met to his character. Adnan Siddiqui doesn’t get much to do but does whatever he has to just fine. Abhimanyu Singh is at his ominous best.
So, is Mom a good film? Yes. Is it moving? Partly but not completely. The scenes of horror make you weak in your knees but those of revenge being finally taken do not leave you satisfied. You wish there was more to it. You wish the bastards died a much more brutal death. You wish they were beaten to pulp.
I’m going with 3/5.
PS: All the images are YouTube screenshots from the film’s official trailer.