MOM movie cast: Sridevi, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Akshaye Khanna, Sajal Ali, Adnan Siddiqui
MOM movie director: Ravi Udyawar
MOM movie rating: 2 stars

MOM begins with promise. Vivacious teenager Arya goes with her friends to a swinging party, and instead of working off an illicit hangover the next morning, and conducting giggly post-mortems with her school pals, finds herself in hospital, brutalized and devastated. First time feature filmmaker adman Ravi Udyawar sets it up deftly, sketching Arya’s (Ali) rocky relationship with stepmother Devki (Sridevi), an overly compensating one with father (Adnan Siddiqui) and younger sister.

We know how the rest of it will pan out, given the countless rape-and-revenge thrillers churned out every so often: only a couple of months back, Raveena Tandon was walking the same path in Matr. The only way you can break the clutter is via a story boasting some novelty and distinctive performances – MOM’s plot is riddled with holes, and is too focussed on Sridevi.

When you start creating scenes to topline the actor not plot, such as it is, you do disservice to both. MOM is so busy keeping Sridevi centre-stage that it makes this rape-and-revenge flick much less impactful than it could have been.

It isn’t as if Sridevi, who returns after a sizeable gap after English Vinglish, can’t carry a film on her own. Shorn of her mannerisms, and pancake, Sri needs only a twitch or a glance to prove that she is a powerhouse, and there are several scenes she lifts by just being there.

But the film overdoes it, and leaves even someone as capable as Nawazudin struggling to overcome a spectacularly ugly hair-piece and a sketchily written part. He plays Detective DK, who is to be seen playing a wholly inexplicable game of hide-and-seek with Devki – Why shouldn’t a client and sleuth meet in public?
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