There isn’t a single weak link in Boney Kapoor’s latest thriller film, Mom. The story of the film is an old, tried-and-tested narrative in Bollywood: a mother takes revenge for the wrongs done to her child – it’s the performances delivered by brilliant actors such as Sridevi, Akshaye Khanna and the inimitable Nawazuddin Siddiqui that set it apart.
The greater miracle of Mom for us Pakistanis, however, is that one of our beloved actresses, Sajal Aly and TV’s sexiest hero, Adnan Siddiqui, have managed to shine in a film that could have easily engulfed them. Let us explain: Mom is an overwhelming ride that lasts nearly three hours and forces us to confront many of society’s ugly realities. It starts off by talking about a teenager’s inability to accept her stepmother; then moves to talk about rape and its consequences; and finally, it draws the fine line between good and bad, of how we’re often confronted with situations that require us to take difficult decisions.
Top that off with how the film has been expertly shot by cinematographer Anay Goswami. The background score is single-handedly responsible for creating the mystery and suspense a film like Mom needed and A.R Rahman knocked it right out of the park with his work. Nawazuddin stole the limelight despite his limited role in the film and Sridevi has set a new benchmark for Bollywood actresses, proving that a woman can survive in the Indian movie industry even in her fifties.
Amid all this, it’s indeed a moment of great pride for us that Sajal Aly and Adnan Siddiqui were able to hold their own. Playing Sridevi’s stepdaughter and husband respectively, both stars have done complete justice to their roles. We would cry and smile with the actors and their performances were so believable that it didn’t look like we were watching a film; it looked like we were witnessing somebody’s life unfold.
Our only criticism is that the screen time wasn’t evenly divided between all the brilliant actors in the film. All actors, Adnan, Sajal, Nawazuddin and Akshaye showed strength but were restricted by their roles. We would have loved to see more from Akshaye and Nawazuddin, who play the roles of a policeman and a private detective respectively. Sajal’s character could have been explored a little more in the second half.