New Delhi, 07 May 2022 21:47 IST
Maa urges us to take the time to thank our parents and express our love to them.
The Punjabi-language film Maa (2022), starring Divya Dutta, Gippy Grewal, Gurpreet Ghuggi, Babbal Rai, Rana Ranbir and Prince Kanwaljit Singh, has been released just ahead of Mother’s Day (8 May). Written by Rana Ranbir and directed by Baljit Singh Deo, the film pays homage to parents and urges the audience to recognize the sacrifices they make for their children.
The film begins with scenes of idyllic village life. We see Manjit Kaur (Divya Dutta) taking care of her two sons, Jora (Gippy Grewal) and Taqdeer (Babbal Rai). The younger Taqdeer is the adopted son of Manjit Kaur. However, nobody in the family makes him feel any different. As a single mother, Manjit is fierce and protects herself and her kids from any harm. Generous and large-hearted, she gives to those less fortunate and even runs an ashram for old people whose families have abandoned them.
Despite being close to their mother, life takes the boys in different directions as they grow up. Taqdeer goes to college and gets busy with sports and, as is common with most young adults, finds his mother’s presence a bit irksome. Meanwhile, Manjit Kaur’s brother-in-law Ujaagar Singh is a constant thorn in her side and she is wary of his malevolent presence.
Through flashbacks that are woven together with the larger narrative, we learn about the love between Manjit and her husband, Pargat Singh. The two seem to be ideal human beings as they always think of the needy and dismiss the venomous actions of members of their extended family, thinking that god will give them their just rewards. This is a refreshingly different take to the revenge narrative that one often sees in films.
The film, with a deeper social message of taking care of one’s parents, features an anti-drug message as well, but the story starts to drag towards the end and certain elements seem too good to be true, eulogizing the mother and her limitless love, which is driven home a bit too vigorously.
However, what stands out is the stupendous performance of Divya Dutta. Making a comeback in Punjabi cinema after a long hiatus, Dutta carries the film on her able shoulders. Ageing through the story, she plays a young, newly married woman, then a single mother, and finally a mother to grown-up sons, looking forward to becoming a mother-in-law. She is gentle and loving with her family but becomes a lioness when they are threatened. Commanding and passionate, she conveys her character’s sensibilities with ease, moulding her body language as she ages.
Gippy Grewal and Babbal Rai play the two brothers well, conveying the naughtiness and love that they share. Raghveer Boli deserves a special mention for a commendable performance as a differently abled person.
Maa is a tribute to mothers in particular and parents in general, who will do anything for their children. The film makes one realize that once they grow up, children tend to forget about their parents and leave them by the wayside. Maa urges us to take the time to thank our parents and tell them we love them. An important message indeed.
Maa was released in cinema halls on 6 May 2022.
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