Mom: A Predictable Plot Brought Down By Wrongful Focus
Movie Review by Trijai Nerthi (Rocheston Certified Movie Critic)
Mom shares plenty in common with Maatr. Both films indulge in an overuse of dramatics, take many logical liberties and leave behind plenty of plot holes within eyesight. There is nothing unique about this story of a mother who is on a journey of revenge. There is no fresh perspective to take the film forward and most of the time its focus is on the wrong character.
Having been severely let down by the Indian Justice System, Devki an infuriated mother takes law into her own hands as she sets out to avenge the rape of her step-daughter, Arya.
Debut filmmaker Ravi Udyawar initially sets the premise well. Arya’s estranged relationship with her step-mother, Devki is portrayed realistically. In fact, even the backdrop of crime in Delhi is painted in shades of black, dark enough to cause knots in your stomach. When a bunch of uncouth and violent men hunt for their female victim, unavoidable chills run down your spine. All those assaults you read about in newspapers sail through your thoughts, leaving you worried and restless. This feeling of uneasiness the film intends to create is sketched out well. The director’s ability to paint the right picture isn’t surprising given his Advertising background.
It is only when this well-painted backdrop drops in the middle to focus on the wrong character does the film go downhill. After the first fifteen minutes, you start to expect more from the director and that’s exactly when he lets you down. Firstly, Sridevi’s character Devki takes the center stage all the time. A story like this should be told in different perspectives in order for it to be credible but the film solely throws its focus on Devki. The story in itself is lost because of all the unwarranted attention one character gets.
This kind of prolonged focus on Sridevi is misleading and does injustice to the plot. Being the fine actress that she is, Sridevi could’ve carried the film on her shoulders without a need for highlighting her character consistently. An actress as extraordinary as her is put through overtly dramatic scale of emotions spoiling the story and the entire experience. The fact that Devki does all the antics of a cross-country spy when she is actually a biology teacher makes no sense at all.
The predictability of the entire plot further brings the film down. All you can see after a point are all the obvious plot holes the film holds. The fact that the film’s happening are put forth in a hazy and uncertain manner diminishes its credibility entirely. This is the moment when those knots that existed in your stomach earlier on gradually turns into impatience. How can her character carry out revenge without being detected by the police force even once? How can her spy-like activities be justified? Why are the other characters being pushed in the shadows? Questions like these keep arising and they are left unanswered till the end.
If a one-woman revenge mission is what Mom wants to get right, it could’ve taken the path Kill Bill so effectively ventured on. In Kill Bill, Uma Thurman not only slays, she slays believably. Not one of her kills is justified hastily. But in Mom, the believability shrinks to the size of an ant.
Mom holds such an extraordinary cast but ends up wasting the potential of its actors thoughtlessly. This has to be the most forgettable role Nawazuddin Siddiqui has ever played. As DK the detective he is dumbed down constantly to cushion Sridevi’s role. Actors like Adnan Siddiqui, Sejal Ali and Akshay Khanna are good but they’re never presented with enough scope to act. Sridevi’s honed skills do not require the halo this film lends unnecessarily.
On the whole, Mom is a predictable plot held down by an unfocused narrative. Its wrongful center of attention takes away whatever little credibility the film leaves behind.