Mothering comes with its own challenges and these films acknowledge that reality. This year it has been unique in its own way! As we continue to remain socially distant with nothing much to do, why not make it memorable for your best person. Plan your weekend just right as you celebrate it by bonding over these titles that are streaming now. May 9 is Mother's Day and though the mother figure in Bollywood is usually one dimensional, these titles will help you dig deeper into the lesser explored aspects of the maternal instinct.
So go ahead, bake a cake for her, lay lazy on couch with your mom and indulge in the best times, even in lockdown.
This Yoodlee film is not a saccharine tribute to motherhood but paints an unlikely protagonist that has not been seen often in mainstream cinema. A grieving Kashmiri woman who repeatedly visits police stations to get some information about her missing husband while her young son finds ways to comfort himself to cope with an unspeakable tragedy. In this Aijaz Khan directorial, Rasika Dugal plays the devastated mother with great sensitivity while Talha Arshad Reshi plays Hamid in a National Award winning performance. Their relationship is tender, frail and even fraught with an occasional sense of desperation. But eventually what brings this mother son relationship alive is the hope she imparts to him. Stories about grief and resilience often paint women to be superhuman heroines in cinema but in this film, the mother is human. Her pain is overwhelming and real. It sums up all the news stories that we are too busy to read and humanises a loss we are not familiar with. The sight of seven-year-old Hamid dialing 786 to speak to God so that his family can be healed is heart-breaking but also shows that a child who has been loved, will never lose hope.
Where to watch: Netflix
Unlike the grimly predictable 'Mom' that turned out to be megastar Sridevi’s swan song, this 2012 Gauri Shinde film treated motherhood with much more nuance and insight. The invisible and unacknowledged work that mothers pour in every day into their families and the way they are disrespected and undervalued was etched with great sensitivity. Shashi was every woman whose talent is undermined by domesticity and who is talked down to and ignored by her children and spouse. The film portrays that moms do not need pedestals, just simple respect and the freedom to explore the world without guilt. How an English-speaking course in a foreign country becomes the door to a new identity for Shashi, forms the core of this refreshing little film that was powered by the gentle strength of its lead star. The film also starred Adil Hussain, French actor Mehdi Nebbou, and Priya Anand.
Where to watch: Amazon Prime Video
Here’s something for all working mothers. The exhilarating drama series is centered on Sakthi Pandian, essayed by Shruthi Hariharan, a young and honest female police inspector who is assigned to an all-women’s police station and is determined to solve the murder of an influential politician’s close aide. Produced by Applause Entertainment in association with Tasa Media, the series authentically describes the life of a working woman, especially one who is in a challenging job like that of a Police Inspector and the problems she faces while balancing her two lives.
Where to watch: MX Player
This Yoodlee film is not about a mother exactly but a grandmother whose maternal instinct to avenge the violation of her granddaughter leads her towards a dark and twisted path. The film retells the agony of the millions of women who are scarred for life by gender-based crimes but are rendered helpless by a toothless justice system and social inequality. Ajji, played by Sushama Deshpande is not a superhero but an impoverished tailor who is driven by wordless rage towards the only solution that she thinks will bring closure if not healing to her family. Unlike 'Mom' and 'Maatr,' the film does not play to the gallery with multiple revenge scenes. It shows how extreme grief and anger can dehumanise even the victims. This gritty Devashish Makhija directorial won international acclaim for its unsparing story telling and a protagonist who sharpens her motherly instincts to slay the monster responsible for an irreversible tragedy. The film also starred Sharvani Suryavanshi, Abhishek Banerjee, Sadiya Siddiqui, Vikas Kumar, Manuj Sharma, Sudhir Pandey, Kiran Khoje, and Smita Tambe in major roles.
Where to watch: Netflix
Shakuntala Devi is a heart-warming tale of the Math genius and her daughter. Throughout the film, Vidya Balan as Shakuntala Devi takes us on an astonishing journey of how her character not only beats perceptions about how a woman should behave in society but also beats the computer once while solving a complicated math question. The movie packs a mix of witty, funny, intelligent, and emotional dialogues, something that makes the entire experience of watching this movie extremely pleasurable.
Where to watch: Amazon Prime Video and Sony MAX
Where to watch: Netflix
Nil Battey Sannata
Who Killed My Son
Where to watch: Discovery+