Banners: Zee Studios, MAD Films,Naresh Agarwal Films
Producers: Zee Studios, SunilManchanda, Naresh Agarwal, Mukesh Talreja, Gautam Jain, Boney Kapoor
Director: Ravi Udyawar
Cast: Sridevi Kapoor, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Akshaye Khanna, Abhimanyu Singh, Sajal Ali, Adnan Siddiqui, Pitobash Tripathy, Vikas Verma
Writers: Girish Kohli (screenplay, story & dialogue), Ravi Udyawar (story), Kona Venkat Rao (story)
Music: AR Rahman
MOM is the perfect example of how to distill a raw concept and present it in an intriguing yet poignant manner. In short, this film is a fabulous product for its content, production values and technical expertise. The film engages you from the very first frame. It flows smoothly and there is nothing extraneous in the story.
The narrative is perfectly focused and the timing of events is bang on, which is further complimented by hard-hitting dialogue. MOM also impresses with firecracker performances and is credible when it comes to the overall product.
This film is a good example of cinema with purpose and courage. The makers skillfully present the raw side of human nature when it comes to rape and its aftermath. But this film would not have been the excellent product that it is without its three pillars – Sridevi Kapoor, Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Akshaye Khanna. It is their performances and the treatment of the story that make MOM an entertaining affair.
Set in Delhi, this is the story of Devki Sabharwal (Sridevi Kapoor), a high school Biology teacher. One of her students is Arya (Sajal Ali), who also happens to be her step-daughter. Devika is married to Anand (Adnan Siddiqui) and they share a blissful married life with their daughters.
However, Arya addresses Devika as ‘Ma’am’ even at home as she doesn’t see her as her own mother. When Arya gets gang-raped by Jagan (Abhimanyu Singh), her classmate and two more men, Devika and her family are devastated. When the law fails to deliver justice, Devika takes matters into her own hands. She meets private detective DK (Nawazuddin Siddiqui), who helps her while the Investigating Officer, Mathew Francis (Akshaye Khanna) is on to them. How the film unfolds forms the crux of the story.
Directorially, Ravi Udyawar has done his homework with the flow of the storyline, which is very precise. He is gifted with the power of storytelling. His is, by far, the most promising debut for a director this year. The simplicity and anguish in each frame stands out with subtlety. Many scenes overwhelm and are in tune with the essence of the subject. Udyawar along with Girish Kohli smartly carve out a niche screenplay and, as a director, he holds his narration firm throughout.
The scenes that stand out include the sequence where Arya is taken in the car, and the aerial shot and the background score which make sure that your heart forgets to beat for a moment. Other scenes include every time Devki meets DK, Arya’s breakdown when she almost commits suicide and the climax sequence. In addition, many scenes have a subliminal undertone, which smartly unravels on the big screen.
Editing by Monisha R Baldawa is sharp and refined, and with a runtime of 147 minutes, the film has not a single dull moment. Cinematography by Anay Goswamy is another asset. The locations have been brilliantly captured. Goswamy’s shot-taking is simple and to the point.
The dialogue is tight and includes some brilliant lines. Each character suits their respective part credibly. Music and background score not only add to the narration but also bring out the essence of each scene.
Performance-wise, Sridevi is OUTSTANDING. Right from holding on to minute nuances of her character to portraying a mother, she is spot on. The different shades of her character have been delicately woven together by her to make her part endearing.
Nawazuddin Siddiqui plays his part with nothing but conviction. He is brilliant. Akshaye Khanna is fantastic. Sajal Ali brings out the pain of her character spectacularly. Adnan Siddiqui makes his presence felt and is fabulous. Abhimanyu Singh plays his part with flamboyance. Vikas Verma is notable. Pitobash Tripathy does justice to his part. The rest of the cast supports well in their respective roles.
Verdict: MOM is an engaging film which is further enhanced by stupendous performances. Watch it!