Mom, the comeback movie for Bollywood’s once leading actress Sridevi has earned both good and bad reviews focusing too much on the performances of characters and the plot. In my first ever movie review, I agree that there were holes in the plot but I found the movie refreshing for its pace and execution.
Mom is yet another ‘rape-and-revenge’ drama where the protagonist is the stepmother of the victim who justifies her actions by choosing the lesser evil. What I found interesting was that the movie like many other Bollywood films like Drishyam and Wazir doesn’t assume that the audience is dumb and need to explain everything in great detail. The plot was very predictable but started with interesting angle of estranged relationship between a stepdaughter and stepmother. The director showed rape sequence with great restraint and was over quickly so that the main story could begin. The stepmother, played by Sridevi is a school teacher goes from being helpless after the fast track court turns acquits the accused based on circumstantial evidence to a criminal mastermind who is plotting clever attacks. It is definitely little farfetched that a school teacher knows how to break and enter, make cyanide etc. without doing any research or have shown any skill in past. It could have been easy to show her love for crime shows etc. to fill this hole.
What I found interesting was how Mom shows the execution of the plan. First, the mother gets help from a private detective and her former students to abduct one of the perpetrators and punishes him by chopping off his privates which ultimately results in his death. The next one gets paralyzed by poisoning and the poison is concocted in the house of third perp which lands one in hospital and another one in jail. It was genius execution till this point and then it became a Bollywood drama. To mend the strained relationship between mother-daughter, somehow the writers found it necessary that planning collapses after this and the fourth perpetrator, the most dangerous one, finds out who is behind the revenge. The predictable climax unfolds when he attacks the family and gets punished. The last scene opens the eyes of the daughter to the greatness of her mother and she reconciles their relationship.
Just from a crime fiction perspective, I think the movie definitely has flashes of good execution but squanders the good plot by leaving too many holes and predictable ending. I would have loved if the plot focused more on mystery and served to the intelligence of the audience. Nonetheless, it was better than other Bollywood movies in the genre.