What appears to be a story of a sexual assault and its aftermath, unfolds gradually to an extremely emotional saga of vengeance. It opens with a brief intro to the strained relationship between a mother/teacher and her step daughter. Within the first few minutes, through just the charm in her eyes, Sridevi as Devaki establishes her undying urge to bridge -the gap between Ma’am and Mom with the daughter. This is where you are already awestruck by the talent-house that she is.This beautiful, responsible daughter attends a teenage farmhouse party in the rape capital, and while one might cringe, the dreaded incident happens. This particular scene, without a single shot of the gruesome act, sends shivers down your spine. The helpless parents follow the ‘correct’ route for justice, and we know what to expect.
The second half is where you see the transformation of a sedulous teacher to a law-breaker. It is brilliant how she maintains a warm demeanor while she plans the most cruel plots for the assasins. As is expressed through one of the cliched dialogues, she is not just a mother but an avenging goddess. The pace is gripping and the visual and sound compositions do absolute justice to the grim theme. But unfortunately, as much as you empathize with her, the whole act keeps getting unreal and ill-defined with every passing scene.
Her support system throughout this is a odd looking private detective, DK (Nawazzudin). With his deadpan wit and eerie vibe, Nawazuddin once again proves his mettle in what the film is calling a ‘special appearance’. You only wish there was more of him. There is also Akshay Khanna as a CBI officer, completely wasted. You blink your eyes and you might miss him. Adnan Siddiqqui (the father) and Sajal Ali fit perfectly into this powerful ensemble and give their all even in such limited screen space.
While the direction is meticulous, the editing could have been tauter. The last 15 minutes are a drag and we could have definitely done with less drama there. The Bollywood kind foresightedness might spoil the narration for you, but Mom is more about stellar performances than a powerful story. It skips the social lecture and opts to be audience- pleasing thriller. If nothing else, two definite reasons to watch – Sridevi and Nawazuddin.