Secret Superstar is yet another product from the stable of Aamir Khan Productions
As is the wont, we have come to expect Quality Cinema from Aamir and his associates. This time round, Advait Chandan makes his Directorial debut with this tale of dreams, desires and ambitions
So what do we have in store here?
We get to see the life of 15 year old girl Insia Malik(Zaira Wasim) residing in Vadodara who dreams of being the best singer out there
Her dreams and aspirations are shared by her mother Najma(Meher Vij) who keeps pushing her own limits to see her daughter HAPPY all the while holding out against her husband(Raj Arjun) who is abusive by nature
To see a girl hold her own against an abusive yet brute of a father, keep controlling the rage of helplessness, keep plotting her own mother’s divorce in a Typical Middle Class Muslim Household is a commendable feat which is integrated pretty smoothly by Advait into the screen play
The advent of Insia’s fame begins with an Idea by Mommy Dearest, A Laptop, You Tube and a Guitar
Spurred by her mother, Insia begins to enjoy the fame she garners as the girl behind a Burkha with a Silken Voice
But lo and behold!
As fate chooses to drive a spanner in her destiny, a Chance comes knocking in the form of Music Director Shakti Kumaarr(Aamir Khan) who can be imagined as a cross between Annu Malik and Kamal Khan
So does Insia manage to get the secret out of the superstar? Or does the secret remain shrouded with the superstar?
In order to know that, I suggest you watch this GEM of a Movie, there is no doubt that the movie is devised to be Schmaltzy and Manipulative to evoke sentiments however Secret Superstar knows this very well and Advait uses these ruses to his advantage
There are certain scenes he creates which despite us knowing will make us reach out for a tissue box still manage to surprise you with a warmth the screen play manages to exude on screen
The scenes between Insia and her Mother, Insia and her Brother and Insia and Chintan(Tirth Sharma) are truly out standing which will make you smile, blush, cry, amaze and warm the shackles of your heart with amazing alacrity
Watch out for the sequences where Chintan admits of his feelings to Insia, the one where Insia shares a password with Chintan and the scenes that follow
These sequences above executed by Chintan manage to do what is lost on today’s generation: The Charm and Innocence of your first love and the pangs associated with IT!
At the same time, Advait manages to pose some pretty essential questions for us:
- When will we men stop trashing our women and start treating them equally?
- Aren’t our women supposed to have the right to live their lives by their rules?
- Shouldn’t women be working to achieve their aspirations, ambitions and desires rather than cater to our expectations of them?
Nonetheless, despite the overall length and certain moments which are pretty much meant to cater to Bollywood norms and conventions, what wins you over is the sincerity of the Director in conveying his story
The Music is pretty decent considering this one revolves around a singer with the pick of the lot being Main Kaun Hoon
For any Director to raise a tale from the ordinary to the extra ordinary the performances of the central cast is essential and on this count, Advait scores and how!
Every actor fits their roles to a tee and have a ball of a time essaying their characters which literally shows on screen
Raj Arjun as the abusive husband spews enough venom in his treatment of his daughter which makes us hate the guts of this MCP to the core
Meher Vij as the gutless mother who is scared of being left to her own devices but is equally committed to her daughter’s dreams, vision and aspiration which are ultimately the source of her happiness is a REVELATION as she performs with ease making us feel the pain of dealing with abuse and reveling with joy whenever her daughter is happy
She truly makes us believe: A mother will always SACRIFICE! It’s hard not feel any emotion when you’re watching this mother – daughter duo on screen
Tirth Sharma as Chintan, the next door guy at school who is simply SMITTEN by Insia and is ready to play the love lorn puppy at the cost of his own self respect is truly ENJOYABLE
This boy certainly displays enough SPUNK in replicating the pangs of our first love and displaying it with effortlessness on screen
Zaira Wasim as Insia the Secret Superstar, the girl who dares to dream, aspire, revolt and retaliate with rage and is just not ready to back down gives a heartfelt performance that will definitely put you on her side no matter the circumstances
This girl surely has a long long way to go and I would love to see more of this TALENT
Lastly, Aamir Khan in a Cameo as a caricature of various real life characters his role is modeled on, makes the most of his time on screen and is surely having a BLAST
He makes no bones about the fact that this role should be LOUD, GAUDY and OVER THE TOP but here once again, he makes this ROLE his own with nuances that will amaze you while you’re busy trying to notice them
Secret Superstar is everything you need it to be: Sweet, Entertaining, The story of the Underdog, Insightful yet thoroughly Humorous and proves to be a really GOOD DIWALI gift for movie going Audiences
I think the Secret of this Superstar definitely lies in Advait Chandan’s execution
Please head out for a perfect family weekend to your nearest movie theater to laugh, cry and exalt all at the same time for this Secret Superstar
A Happy Diwali to all!