Mom impresses with a good story and strong performances of Sridevi and Nawazuddin. Although what didn’t impress was the reinforcement of some of the wrong beliefs prevalent on why rapes happen and the unnecessary melodrama in some situations.
Mom is about a mother’s fight against her daughter’s rapists when the courts aren’t able to provide her justice. Devki (Sridevi) is a high school teacher who is the second wife to Anand (Adnan Siddiqui) and have two daughters with elder one Arya (Sajal Ali). Arya is never able to give Devki a motherly respect but it’s Devki who stands up for her step daughter after a horrifying night that ended in Arya found dropped in a gutter after being gang raped. While she is totally flustered and overwhelmed by the gravity of the situation, she sheds all that to take law into her own hands after realizing that the justice was a distant possibility. The story is very well written, for the most part, it ended up propagating stereotypes about rapes in India like girls who party late night gets raped, girls who wear short clothes get raped, girls who drink are asking for it, rapes happen in India and not in Bharat etc etc. The writer could have used any other base to build the story. Having said that, the rest of the story is actually nicely written at a screenplay level in spite of a very predictable climax. Very well written thriller.
The movie got some really good performances from Sridevi, Nawazuddin, and Sajal Ali. Sridevi has been amazing throughout the movie with highly intense performance. The trailer of the movie showed that it was all in all a Sridevi movie and the actual movie wasn’t so different. Nawazuddin also makes his presence strongly felt – largely due to his avatar in the movie and the unique accent. Although the role is a little inferior to the actor of his caliber, he still gives much-required justice. Sajal Ali was great, especially in her scenes with Sridevi. Projecting a character of a physically abused person could be very difficult but her expressions and dialog delivery were pretty much spot on. Akshay Khanna probably had more screen time than Nawazuddin and a good character to play but still failed to create as much impact. Adnan Siddiqui had a very limited role – second fiddle to Sridevi – and did okay. The casting of the movie was good overall, except that none of the negative characters had any big names.
Debutant director Ravi Udyawar did well to lift this movie even though he relied a lot on melodrama, overdone at some places. The pace of the movie is quite good – never dragged or gets boring, which is very important for a thriller. However, climax could have been conceptualized better and made more believable.
Overall, it’s a good movie to watch for great performances by Sridevi and Nawazuddin.