The Spider Cave

Film: Mom

Posted on: July 9, 2017

31) Film: Mom (2017) (Review + breakdown analysis) 

Seriously, at first I thought it was mom as in candle wax and I didn’t fully get it until the end when a character actually says mom then it hit me in the face that it is actually mom as in mother. How stupid of me. Just because we, here in the UK, aren’t used to the word mom. It’s normally mum. 

But anyway, I knew a Sridevi movie is out and that’s it. I caught a small glimpse of her on TV and that was it. I’m a fan of Sridevi and have been watching her from the age of four (remember Mr. India? We watched the shit out of that VHS over and over again). We didn’t plan to watch this movie. My other half wanted to go out and I was reluctant but finally agreed. Our children refused to go (son wanted to play lego and daughter just sided with her brother. Bless them) so me and my other half went and it was like a spontaneous date and I asked her if she wanted to watch this movie called mom. And to my surprise, she knew a lot about the movie than I did. Two Pakistani actors starred in this. Brilliant. I did took a peek at the reviews but didn’t really mind them much because my favourite actors were playing in the movie. Nawazuddin, Akshay Khanna, Sridevi and Sajal Ali (the Pakistani girl). 

The opening scene was superb. It set the whole story and told me a lot about the direction it was going to take. Sridevi’s character, Devki, is a feisty one, determined and bold. She is stepmother to Arya, played by Sajal Ali. The story is about rape and revenge, even though the critics say it is not about a typical revenge. I felt it was. It just shows how people can manipulate and beat the system to show themselves innocent and roam free. That’s what happened in this movie and the mother decided to take revenge. The movie is as realistic as it can get. As a woman, Devki is still the woman in that country, fearful and cautious. Still, her hands shake when plotting a revenge. Still she makes mistakes. It shows how helpless a man or a woman can get. 

The music was almost none but good. The camera was just too good. I loved every bit of it. The shots were taken in such creative ways that every camera angle was an addition to the plot and the characters. The acting is good overall. Loved Nawazuddin and Akshay. Sajal deserves a standing ovation for her performance. There was a scene where she just screams and screams and it cut through my heart like a dagger. Seriously, good acting. 

The only downside to the movie was the editing. The editor didn’t do a good job. The film could be 20 minutes shorter and shone like a diamond. I felt that scenes were dragging too much. Like for example, Devki’s crying scene when she first sees Arya in the hospital just kept going on and on. It very much needed a cut and be tightened. Too long and it felt like Sridevi was trying too hard. Her acting is excellent but the editing could make it perfect. Same with the rape scene and other scenes. Good editing is always gold. 

I really enjoyed the first half of the movie so I’m going to give it 8/10. The second half can get 6/10 because of loose tension and editing. 

Read on if you have already watched the movie and are interesting in analysis. 

Breakdown and Analysis (spoiler alert) 

So the first scene starts off with Devki entering her classroom to teach her students some biology. Her personality is shown very friendly (she even demonstrates body muscle groups by showing a buff picture of Salman Khan). Her step daughter is the student in the class and she receives a dirty video by this boy sitting two desks away from her. Devki handles the situation aggressively by throwing the phone out of the window. That shows that she can be bold and can do anything. That sets the tone of the whole movie and also her personality. 

The family is very organised. Devki has a husband (who is also a Pakistani actor) who runs a business. The only tension in the family is in between Arya (Devki’s step daughter) and Devki. It is a one sided tension from Arya’s side. This thing hasn’t been clearly explained. Why Arya isn’t still comfortable with her step mother when there is nothing wrong with her. You see Arya complaining to her father that he has forgotten his first wife and stuff like that. There’s a moment when Arya is literally dying and unable to move in a hospital bed and Devki advances towards to help her by putting a bed pan under her sheets so she can relieve herself. What Arya does is pulls the curtain between her and Devki. I found that to be very extreme. Why does Devki deserve this kind of treatment? And that heart stopping screams of Arya when she sees Devki in her room. That could be the best scene of the entire movie. It is only at the end when Arya finds out that it was actually Devki who was taking revenge, she utters the word ‘mom’. Before that, she always called her ma’am. 

So the next big act is the rape itself. This scene itself is genius. Love the way the tension was built. Valentine’s party. Arya is there. The guy who sent her the dirty video from the first scene is there (Mohit) and other guys are there too. Mohit goes up and talks to her but gets rejected. Then this other guy goes up to her with a drugged drink. Arya’s friend ends up having the drink. Then a criminal minded guy just grabs her outside and they all throw her in the jeep. The jeep drives slowly through the deserted night streets and you have the aerial top down view of it with a strange menacing music. The jeep stops, two guys come out, switch driving positions and it continues. The scene is dragging too long. It should be edited. But she was thrown on a roadside finally. Arya was gangraped. 

She is discovered and transferred to a hospital. Devki breakdowns giving her performance but the scene is again dragging in my opinion. I hate to see and think that she over acted in that scene. I don’t want to say that but the poor editing is making me think like that. I adore Sridevi’s acting. 

The next minutes, we are shown the court case where the boys are able to beat the justice system and come innocent. Even crime branch specialist Mathew (Akshay Khanna) couldn’t do anything. Devki is just disappointed and hires a detective called DK (Nawazuddin) who gives her information about the gang of boys. 

Nawazuddin is like the master of acting. He brings the humour out of nowhere and it makes you smile. He plays his humorous witty detective very well. His ending scene is brilliantly done where he stares at his heart then looks up as if saying ‘kiya boss? Bas issi baat pe jaan le li? Kiya itni sasti hai zindagi?’ 

So Devki murders the gang one by one until one guy remains. Same guy who actually abducted Arya. The criminal. Right at the end, when the criminal had beaten Devki and gone outside to search for Arya, I wished Devki would just turn into this NH10’s Anushka and just beat the crap out of that criminal. But then I thought realistically. This is an everyday woman. Even plotting revenge, sneaking into someone’s house and then tripping there and not freaking out needed courage. But that courage came with fear also. You can see her hands shaking with fear throughout the movie. So right at the end, she couldn’t do it. She couldn’t get up, grab an axe and split the guy’s head in half. In fact right at the end, when Arya uttered the word mom after she came to know that it was actually her step mother all along who had been plotting revenge, only then Devki shot the guy with Matthew’s pistol. Yes, the police man gave Devki his weapon to shoot the criminal. Then the scene of the re-uniting and hugging was dragged for ages and we left. 

The first scene, the rape scene and the scream scene were the back bone of this movie. But hats off to Sridevi. It was her movie through and through. 

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