This Mother's Day, celebrate cinematic moms who are real, human and still lovable
This Mother's Day, we recommend a few films that depict motherhood from a rare perspective by showing the emotional and circumstantial challenges women have to face while raising their children
From self-sacrificing mothers to avenging matriarchs to moms who one day stand in their power, Hindi cinema has portrayed motherhood in different hues. This Mother's Day, we recommend a few films that depict motherhood from a rare perspective by showing the emotional and circumstantial challenges women have to face while raising their children. These women are not perfect but they are authentic and closer to life than the ever-smiling, multi-tasking goddesses we expect mothers to be.
Tribhanga: This Renuka Shahane directorial was produced by Ajay Devgn, Deepak Dhar, and Siddharth P. Malhotra and deals with unspoken issues that can complicate the relationship between mothers and daughters. It deals with three generations of mothers who learn in the course of their journey that the only way to heal yourself is to forgive each other. The story begins with a successful writer who leads an unconventional life-style and is blamed by her daughter for her acute childhood trauma. When this daughter becomes a mother, she makes her own set of mistakes and is reminded by her child that no parent can get it perfectly right. The story reiterates that mothers can be fallible because they too are human. Starring Tanvi Azmi, Kajol and Mithila Palkar, the film encourages open conversations and empathy for flawed mothers who did the best they could.
Ajji: This Devashish Makhija film is not exactly about a mother but about the primal maternal instinct to protect and avenge a wrong done to a beloved child. It revolves around 'Ajji', an unprepossessing grandmother leading an impoverished existence in a slum when a crime against her granddaughter and the denial of justice puts her on the dangerous path of retribution. The film reminds us that the safety of the girl child cannot be ensured by slogans and must be addressed on a societal level. Sushama Deshpande puts in a bravura performance as Ajji while Sharvani Suryavanshi, Abhishek Banerjee, Sadiya Siddiqui, Vikas Kumar, Manuj Sharma, Sudhir Pandey, Kiran Khoje, and Smita Tambe play major roles. The film was produced by Yoodlee.
Hamid: This Yoodlee production and Aijaz Khan directorial portrays the difficulties of a mother who must raise her child alone while dealing with enormous personal grief and loss. The film is about a devastated Kashmiri family where the father has gone missing, leaving behind his seven-year-old son Hamid and Ishrat, his grieving wife. Rasika Dugal poignantly depicts the struggle of a mother whose child (played by Talha Arshad Reshi) wants answers she cannot give. How the two deal with their loss to once again bond with each other brings the film to a healing conclusion. Vikas Kumar as a kind, nurturing voice on the other end of a telephone line guides Hamid through a tough phase to prove that it takes a village to raise children and no mother should have to do it alone. Talha Arshad Reshi went on to win a National Award for his performance and the film too won the National Award for Best Feature Film in Urdu.
Secret Superstar: This Aamir Khan and Kiran Rao production depicts the courage it takes for a mother to stand up to patriarchy and abuse within the family unit to protect her children. The Advait Chandan directrial also asks pertinent questions about why the girl child is denied the freedom to chase her dreams under one pretext or another? And why must she hide her true self if she wants to succeed in our milieu? This coming of age journey of Insia (Zaira Wasim), a musically inclined girl who emerges from anonymity to make a triumphant appearance at an award show is both uplifting and inspiring but it is Meher Vij as her mother Najma, who represents the beating heart of the film. The film also stars Aamir Khan himself with Mona Ambegaonkar and Raj Arjun in supporting roles.
English Vinglish: 'English Vinglish' could be the story of any regular household where a devoted mother and wife forgets to tend to her own dreams. It also subtly portrays how homemakers are often underestimated and mocked by their own families. Written and directed by Gauri Shinde, this award winning film tells us the story of Shashi, whose life revolves around her children and husband. She is a fledgling entrepreneur who makes sweets but is not taken seriously by her husband and daughter and her poor command over English is a source of much mirth in the household. Things change when Shashi gets to travel to the U.S. by herself and enrols in an English-speaking course. She slowly begins to rediscover the joyful, confident woman who was denied self-expression all this while. Sridevi was hailed for her sensitive performance as Shashi after a 15-year hiatus while Adil Hussain, French actor Mehdi Nebbou, and Priya Anand played supporting roles. The film was produced by Sunil Lulla, R. Balki, Rakesh Jhunjhunwala and R. K. Damani.