New Delhi : "Since God cannot be everywhere, He created Mother", the dialogue in the film 'Mom' aptly reflects the aura created by veteran Bollywood actress Sridevi, who gives one of her finest performances in the film in the title role.
Directed by Ravi Udyawar, 'MOM', Sridevi 's 300th film in Bollywood which also marks her 50th anniversary in the industry, tells a powerful, hard-hitting story inspired by the reality of Indian society and stands as an inspiration for its women.
Portraying the role of Devaki, Sridevi carries the entire movie on her shoulders, essaying the modern working woman, who cares, loves and protects her family against all the odds.
Devaki's character is of a dignified strong lady, rather than those mothers, who were earlier sketched in Bollywood as crying and wailing for their children.
The movie revolves around High School student Arya Sabrawal (Sajal Ali), who gets raped by her classmate Mohit and his aides. After the culprits are declared innocent by the court, Arya's step mother Devaki, a school teacher, decides to teach them a lesson in her own way. A private investigator Dayashankar Kapoor aka DK (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) tries to help her, but police come in their way.
The relationship between Devaki and Arya is strained. Arya cannot accept Devaki as her mother, despite persistent efforts from Devaki's end and calls her "ma'am".
Arya is a spoilt brat, who hates to take permission from her stepmother. She routes everything through her father. This is what happens when it comes to a Valentine's night college party, which is happening at a farm house faraway from home, where the rape incident with Arya occurs and she is thrown in a drain thereafter.
While the first half of the film deals with the relationship between Devaki and her daughter Arya, the second half of the movie shows Devaki taking revenge one by one, for Arya to see that the rapists get their due punishment.
Will Devaki be able to avenge her daughter's culprits? Devaki is shown to be a stalwart, rugged woman who is in a very tricky relationship with her teenage stepdaughter.
As an actor who is so mature and has completed such a long span of time in the industry, Sridevi surprises the audience with her performance as "MOM," playing the role to perfection.
Sridevi impresses viewers again with her perfect act as a mother, who takes revenge for her daughter's dreadful menace.
Sridevi manages to maintain an irresistible mystique around herself, like she did earlier with her dazzling acts. A woman of 53, who plays the protagonist gives it her all. It would be apt to say that 'MOM' is Sridevi's movie.
However, a Delhi woman Devaki speaking Hindi with a south accent, sounds a bit too odd. But the movie is not only about Sridevi's performance.
Nawazuddin Siddiqui again surprises with his stellar performance.
Playing the role of an aged local detective, Nawazuddin exhibits an extremely interesting look. As the detective who works closely with Devaki in her process of revenge, he is a delight to watch.
Akshaye Khanna, who plays a tough CBI inspector, perfectly fits the role.
Pakistani actors Adnan Siddiqui and Sajal Ali, both of who make their Bollywood debut with "MOM" put up a nice performance as Devaki's husband and daughter.
Adnan who plays the role of Devaki's husband brilliantly portrays the role of a grief-stricken father desperate to get justice for his daughter who is a piece of his heart.
Abhimanyu Singh who plays the villain is definitely good. However, his Haryanvi accent is not in sync with his character .
While "MOM" boasts of spectacular performances from its entire cast, there is no doubt that it is Nawazuddin Siddiqui who steals the show! Having said that, it's exciting to see Nawaz and Sridevi together, sharing an extraordinary screen space.
However, the plot of the story is something that is already presented earlier in different ways.
A mother taking revenge against the rapists of her step daughter has been a profound plot in film over the past several decades. But, yes debutant director Ravi Udyawar deals with a hard topic in a much more sturdy way inspiring women who have ever been a victim of molestation, eve-teasing,rape, doemstic violence or harassment to fight and secure justice for themselves.
Devaki's question "Agar aapko galat aur bohot galat mein se chun na ho, toh aap kya chunenge?" is relevant for the present scenario.
The movie takes a critical look on the judicial system of the country on how the important judgement in India are delayed, how the rape victims are victimised more and more by the slow proceedings of law and how the image of the parents of a rape survivor is maligned and they are offended by the society.
For example, in the movie, we can see Adnan slapping one of the four culprits inside the courtroom when they are released on bail. The judge puts a charge of contempt of court on him and sends him to jail. Devaki then strikes the Court and says "Is desh me rape kar sakte hain, lekin rapist ko thappar nahi maar sakte." Ravi excels as director, as the film is emotionally relatable to each and every woman.
The movie also shows how hard it has become to raise the children in their teenage years.
The cinematography is good with the film surveying the picturesque locations of the Delhi with fine passages of photography and production design.
Girish Kohli's screenplay ensures an entertaining drama and holds the audience's attention as the story unfolds.
Rating: 4/5 stars: (one for plot, one each for Sridevi and Nawazuddin's performance, one for screenplay.)