This 2017 crime drama, “Mom,” draws attention to gang rape – a very pressing social issue in India – as well as the loopholes in the country’s justice system.
Devki Sabarwal (Sridevi) is Arya Sabarwal’s (Sajal Ali) stepmother and biology teacher. Her dad, Anand (Adnan Siddiqui) is the love of her life. Anand and Devki have been married for a while. They have a daughter. Arya loves her younger sister but she has not been able to get over her mother’s death. As such, she does not have a great relationship with Devki. She believes Devki is trying to take the place her mother.
On the contrary, Devki keeps trying to get Arya’s approval. Prior to Anand’s departure for a business trip, Devki convinces him to allow Arya attend a Valentine’s Day party with her friends. They agreed that she’d be back by midnight. Meanwhile, Arya’s classmate Mohit (Adarsh Gourav) has eyes for her but she is uninterested.
Mohit approaches Arya at the Valentine’s Day party and she rebuffs him. His friend Charles (Adarsh Gourav ) also make a move. But Arya snobs him, too. So, Charles, Mohit, another friend, Jagan and the watchman Babu abduct Arya. They assault and rape her. The rapists toss Arya along a lonely road, almost lifeless.
Arya’s recovery is harrowing. She deals with the physical and psychological pain. Devki feels her pain, but Arya shuts her out. However, Devki is undeterred and determined to get to the bottom of the crime. She goes to great lengths to get justice for her daughter. Devki takes risks and puts herself in harms way in a manner which even Anand couldn’t.
They say ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away.’ But in “Mom,” you will also learn that apples can be deadly.
“Mom” is an intense and gripping drama that shows the boundless love of mothers. It also proves that a maternal bond can exist with a non-biological child. In a lot of respect, “Mom,” is also a story about how an ugly situation can birth something beautiful because as horrifying as the rape was, it made Devki and Arya closer.
Furthermore, there are huge disparities between how the rich and poor live in India. And Aseel Safwat’s screenply does not shy away from highlighting this social inequality. Although Mohit, Charles and Jagan are from privileged backgrounds, Babu lives in the slums. Hence, the audience gets to see upscale India as well as the slums and it adds to the films authenticity. It is also remarkable that the film the does not pretend rape is crime perpetuated by only its society’s underprivileged.
It is also interesting that “Mom” is distributed by Zee Studios. But it is nothing like the goofy movies you see on Zee World. Nor is it like the several Bollywood series which portray that perfect “Indian love.” Rape is a big issue in India and must be talked about, and “Mom” does that.
“Mom” is not just enjoyable, it is purposeful. Sridevi and Sajal give outstanding performances in this film. Sadly, less than a year after the film was released, Sridevi’s husband found her dead.
Directed by: Ravi Udyawar