Actress Sridevi is 54 years old; she started acting as a child artiste when she was four years old. That means that 2017 marks fifty golden years of her association with filmdom. And in this special year, we get to see her 300th film, MOM! And that she has chosen to play a role which shows her on screen in her most non-glamorous till date speaks volumes about her confidence in her acting abilities. Few heroines of yester years and fewer of today’s generation would have dared to do this.
Debutant director, Ravi Udhawar’s effort (produced by Sridevi’s husband, Boney Kapoor), MOM is shot in a very taut manner. In fact, the first half, without any songs to interrupt the proceedings, grips you in a manner which is expected out of true thrillers. The movie has a weak cliché ridden few opening sequences, but the director gets through them very quickly and plunges straight into the story telling. And giving him the support to enable the thrilling ride behind the scenes in A R Rahman, whose background music succeeds in creating that grim atmosphere called for in the movie. And on the screen, his cast delivers outstanding performances. Be it the suave Pakistani actor, Adnan Siddiqui, playing Sridevi’s husband, or the young Pakistani actress Sajal Ali, who plays Sridevi’s traumatized step daughter or our Akshaye Khanna, playing the role of a cop, the role play efforts are commendable. The best performances come from Nawazuddin Siddiqui (I wondered why they called his appearance as a special role, when in fact, he has a footage in the film exceeding that of Adnan) and of course Sridevi. In a role, which calls for her to perform in varying situations from handling her non-acceptance by her step-daughter to her baring her fangs in her efforts to protect the same child, she is excellent.
Were it not for these stellar efforts, MOM would have become a fairly mediocre movie. MOM’s biggest let-down is not because of the theme, but because of the numerous pot-holes in its storyline. And these become bigger and bigger as the story telling progresses to the second-half and as a result, what could have been a very well-crafted thriller, heads rather hopelessly to a foregone conclusion. Thrillers need solid story lines which are not riddled with improbabilities. Whether this has happened on account of Boney Kapoor’s intervention or not, I would not know, but the end result is this takes away the focus from Sridevi instead of accentuating it!
RATING: 3 out of 5
July 8, 2017