Kamran Jawaid | The post is the unedited copy of the review published in DAWN ICON on 16th July 2017, which can be read here. Jpeg of the print copy is at the end of the post.
In films, both good and bad, there’s always a scene that sticks with you. A scene that quantifies its essence. A moment you remember the film by in later conversations.
In Mom, that quintessential scene happens late at night, when a young, slightly drunk girl is kidnapped and raped in the backseat of a black SUV.
The camera cuts out of the car to an aerial shot of the SUV, tracking the vehicle as it slinks like a predator on a Noida freeway. The music, vexing and repetitive, graduates to a low-shrill as the car halts to a stop, and the driver switches places with someone from the backseat. The car moves again.
Unable to blink, we watch as unwilling witnesses. The moment of dread amplifies. There are no screams of struggle. A few cuts later, the girl’s corpse-like body is thrown in a neck-deep gutter; her face, swollen and dead of emotion.
Immediately the audience knows two things. One: these people are monsters; the second, an immediate after-thought: she needs retribution.
Arya (Sajal Ali) loses more than her chastity in that scene, and the intelligently crafted ambience, silent in its entirety, screams at the top of its lungs.