Maja Ma Movie Review: Remember Vishal Bharadwaj Dedh Ichqiya? Personally, I felt cheated with the ending when it flirted with a “more than just friends” possibility between Huma Qureshi and Madhuri Dixit but I didn’t explore it. Maja Ma is a flawed but significant, engaging and superior upgrade of the same. Maja Ma: Madhuri Dixit Nene, Barkha Singh and More Share Fun Moments From Their Family Shoot
Pallavi Patel (Madhuri Dixit) has a simple married life. Her husband Manohar Patel (Gajraj Rao) adores her, she’s a superhero to his son Tejas (Ritwik Bhowmick) and has a hot-cold equation with his activist daughter Tara (Srishti Srivastava). But their seemingly perfect life takes a turn for the worse when, in a fit of anger, Pallavi lets out his 30-year-old well-kept secret. It jeopardizes everything from Tejas’ marriage to Esha Hansraj (Barkha Singh), the daughter of a wealthy and influential NRI, Bob (Rajit Kapoor) and Pam (Sheeba Chaddha) to Pallavi’s own existence. As if that weren’t enough, comes her childhood secret keeper Kanchan (Simone Singh).
Nowadays, it is quite rare to read a name in the credits and feel assured of a good result. Anand Tiwari is such a rare name. Be it Bang Baja Baraat Where band bandits Where love per square foot, it perfectly projects the urban feelings around each subject. There is always something to remember from his films. With Maja MaI take away the fact that we don’t have to settle for token representation in movies, we just need better writers and directors.
Special mention to Sumit Bhateja, the maker of the film who lets the story build itself rather than inserting heightened kicking moments. It works because the twists are woven smoothly into the narrative.
But where Maja Ma scores is perhaps the most balanced story I’ve watched this year. There is a representative from each section of society who expresses their point of view on the subject. Even when an LGBTQIA+ activist is involved, he never tries to put it on a pedestal and vilify non-allies, or for that matter, he doesn’t even give a proper nudge to the people who are fighting this battle . In reality, Maja Ma shows so much restraint on the issue by sending a message that ultimately it’s all about choice and the person will make that choice, not the people around them, even if the best intentions are at heart.
Plus, I’m so glad 90s women are finally getting their due. Madhuri Dixit’s Pallavi is powerful, strong and sensitive. While men of this decade are still stuck in the period limited by their primitive understanding of stardom, actresses of this era are stepping into promising roles. Such a wonderful time to be in the industry, thanks to the OTT boom.
Now let’s get to some obvious flaws. The accents of the whole Hansraj clan is the biggest joke or maybe it was meant to be. I don’t know what the need was to have an NRI family in the mix. Any member of SOBO (South Bombay) high society would have done a good job. At least the fake accents wouldn’t have seemed so out of place. It kind of reminds me of all those movies from the early 2000s where NRIs were demonized for lack of Indian morals, conscience and values in every movie. It takes a lot of effort not to abandon the film halfway through because of this disturbing element.
At the end, Tejas praises his girlfriend Esha for being more mature than him, but it never shows in the character build. She’s just shown as a cushion to soften the blow between her family and the Patels. A pretty lame way to treat an important character.
Also, the ending isn’t really a worthy conclusion to the compelling story. I won’t dwell on it for fear of revealing the secret. The only thing I would like to say here is ‘Aasmaan ko zameen, ye zaruri nahi jaa mile‘ in the words of a hit number by Arijit Singh! Madhuri Dixit Nene on Maja Ma: engaging but not preachy, she will stay with the public for a long time.
Watch the Maja Ma trailer:
The performances are the biggest strengths of this film. Madhuri Dixit as Pallavi is just awesome. She navigates the ups and downs of her character with such ease that you feel proud rooting for her since the 90s. As for Simone Singh, give Camilla de Kal Ho Na Ho an earthy desi look and non-gold digger attributes! She is the STAR of the movie. Gajraj Rao is adorable even when he shows anguish or pain. Ritwik is my favorite OTT hero and that feeling continues as well. Srishti Srivastava’s spirited performance is so compelling that you’ll often find yourself agreeing with her views despite your apprehensions.
-Anand Tiwari, director
– Simple and balanced storytelling
– Disturbing Accents
-Not so great ending
Maja Ma could come across as a frothy film taking advantage of the Navratri vibe and Madhuri Dixit’s dancing skills. But it’s so much more than that! Maja Ma is a movie that should be on everyone’s watch list this weekend. Maja Ma stream on Amazon Prime.
(The story above first appeared on LatestLY on October 6, 2022 at 12:29 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and fashion of life, log on to our website latestly.com).