Cast: Sridevi, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Akshaye Khanna, Sajal Ali, Adnan Siddiqui, Abhimanyu Singh
Director: Ravi Udyawar
Producers: Boney Kapoor, Sunil Manchanda, Naresh Agarwal, Mukesh Talreja, Gautam Jain
Writers: Ravi Udyawar, Girish Kohli, Kona Venkat Rao
What's Yay: Performances, Direction
What's Nay: Barring a few scenes where the plot loses the steam, Mom manages to hold you attention effectively for a span of 148 minutes.
Popcorn Refill: Strictly interval
Iconic Moment: A deserted Delhi road on a pitch dark night. A black car drives soundlessly until we see it halting at a crossroad through an aerial shot. Two doors open, and the driver swaps his seat with a person sitting in the rear seat. The car starts moving again and then just before the dawn breaks, it stops. A teenage girl, senseless and bruised, is thrown out of that vehicle into the drainage. This scene along with its melancholic background score numbs your senses for few minutes!
Devki's (Sridevi) is a biology teacher in a school. The film begins with her entering into a classroom. The topic for the day is 'different types of muscles in a human body.' Ma'am' decides to make the class interesting for her students by taking the aid of a picture of Salman Khan flaunting his six packs ab.
Giggles follow until a beep on Arya (Sajal Ali)'s mobile phone draws our attention towards her. Including Devki's too! She walks upto Arya. The minute her eyes fall on the mobile screen, we see her facial expressions changing and the atmosphere tensing up! Next, Devki goes to the sender of that message who is sitting in the next row, confiscates his phone and tosses it out of the window.
The scene then changes to Devki's house where it is revealed that Arya is her step-daughter. The two share a strained relationship where Arya refuses to acknowledge her as her mother and prefers to call her 'Ma'am'. However, Devki continues her relentless efforts to bridge the gap between them.
Amidst the tension brewing between Arya and Devki, we realize that the latter is quite close to her father Anand (Adnan Siddiqui), a globetrotter. On the eve of Valentines' Day, after a swinging party with her school pals at one of Delhi's hot-shot farmhouses, Arya is supposed to hail a cab back home. Instead, the next morning, the teen is discovered in a brutalized state in a ditch.
Soon, Arya identifies her assaulters. But they manage to walk scot-free from the court of law due to lack of evidence. Deeply affected by Arya's trauma and being denied justice, Devki decides to take the matter in our own hands and seek redemption.
She reaches out for help to private detective Dayashankar Kapoor or DK (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) who agrees to snoop around for 'information'. Revenge is a dish best served cold. But would Devki's vendetta be plain sailing especially under the hawk eyes of crime branch inspector Mathew Francis (Akshaye Khanna)?
Ravi Udyawar makes a confident directorial debut with Mom! His illustrator background and advertising sensibilities are clearly reflected in his framing of cinematic shots especially when it comes to vivid colors.
Mom might remind you of Raveena Tandon's Maatr which released few months ago in terms of story. But it's Ravi's excellent execution who lends a greater impact in this case. Mom has plenty of scenes which sends a shiver down the spine.
Sridevi exudes a strong magnetic charm even today. The actress clocks 300 with this film and Mom makes you realize why she would give our new-lot heroines a run for their money even in today's times!
Her strong screen persona coupled with acting prowess doesn't let your eyes leave the screen even for a second. The scene where she has a breakdown in the hospital is goosebump-inducing. Afterall, a mother knows what her child has gone through, even if she didn't see it herself.
Nawazuddin Siddiqui is a total charmer and his scenes with Sridevi are a pure treat! While the film is heavy on intense emotions, it's Nawaz who balances it perfectly with his quirky touch of humour. His one-liners will leave you in splits. Just one word. WOW!
Akshaye Khanna plays a rough-and-tough cop but compared to Sridevi and Nawazuddin, his character remains underutilized. Still he manages to leave an impression.
Sajal Ali is quite impressive and effectively communicates her character's angst, pain and suffering. Adnan Siddiqui puts up a good show.
Abhimanyu Singh's menacing act too, lends good support.
Girish Kohli's screenplay is water-tight except for a few places. Anay Goswami's cinematography is top-notch and adds more interesting layers to the film in terms of visuals. Monisha. R. Baldawa's editing is sharp.
While there isn't much scope for songs in the film, A. R Rahman's haunting background score makes Mom even more powerful when it comes to story-telling.
Mom is not just a revenge saga. It runs deeper than that and talks about a mother's undying love.
The film reminded me of Agatha Christie's famous words, "A mother's love for her child is like nothing else in the world. It knows no law, no pity. It dares all things and crushes down remorsely all that stands in its path."
In a nutshell, Mom is worth every penny for Sridevi- Nawazuddin's stellar act and Ravi Udyawar's brilliant execution!