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"Secret Superstar" Hindi film review - Terrific acts make this predictable film enjoyable

  • Sekhar GC

    Sekhar GC (623 DM Points)

    Desimartini | Updated - November 06, 2017 12:44 PM IST
    3.7DM (9645 ratings)
    Secret SuperstarWatch trailerRelease date : October 19, 2017

    Set in Baroda, the story is of school-girl Insia, who is a gifted singer. She belongs to a conservative family, and while her mother associates with her daughter's musical aspirations, her father does not meet eye-to-eye with it, or her, and looks at her like a curse (being the girl-child). Her journey in fulfilling her dreams form the rest of the film.
    Now, in this, domestic violence is also nicely intertwined. And that part was appealing to me, and I would have loved to see that as a movie in itself. Instead of combining the two.
    First things that come to my mind, after watching this film:
    This is predictable fare, and has all the ingredients of a commercial success.
    It is melodramatic, and is over the top in many places, especially towards the end.
    But it does have very good performances, and that saves the film, in my view.
    The film belongs to the three main characters -
    1. Meher Vij as Insia's mother - I have no words to describe her acting in this one. The scenes between the mother and daughter and the camaraderie they share is mind-blowing, and a joy to watch, to say the least.
    2. Zaira Wasim as Insia Malik, as good as (say) Leonardo DiCaprio was in What's eating Gilbert Grape, the common factor being teenagers when they played their roles. To get an idea of how good she is, just watch her expressions when she trills and croons. Pah! Amm...mmaezing!
    3. Raj Arjun as Insia's father Farookh Malik, is nothing short of awesomeness! He breathes fire into his role and is so effective that one would feel like getting into the screen and punching his face. The best part about his role - he was controlled, and doesn't play the 'typical' bad guy.
    Aamir Khan plays the role of a good Samaritan, a rejected and dejected music director, and appears to be having a ball in his own production.
    The best thing about the film is that it is simple and unadulterated.
    Some things are hard to believe or digest, though, in the film - like how easily Insia gets a bazillion hits on YouTube, and how easily she becomes a superstar in a burkha; or for that matter her easy access to Bollywood music director Shakti Kumar.
    The question is whether director Advait Chandan can hold his own, without the backing of a superstar producer. Nonetheless, bravado and more than just brownie points to the young director for making a film about domestic violence and chasing dreams.
    An important lesson, again, to learn from this is that good publicity can take a film exponentially higher at the box-office. Which a film like Rukh clearly (and sadly) lacked.
    Spoiler: I'd have probably enjoyed the film more had they ended it at the airport, when Insia's mother finally stands-up for herself and her daughter. But no, for Bollywood commercial grounds, they had to drag it further and add melodrama with the cliched awards-function, speeches, blah blah...!
    My verdict: 3 out of 5. Watch it, for a hero's journey and for some out-of-the-world acting by Meher Vij and Zaira Wasim.
    - Sekhar, GCtheThinker.blogspot.com

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