Movie Review: Super Nani

October 31, 2014

(Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters)

Picture taken from the official Facebook page for the movie Indra Kumar must have a time machine. How else do you explain him making a movie that takes us all back to the dark ages?

It’s almost as if “Super Nani” takes every single embarrassing, regressive, and singularly stupid trope from the worst of Bollywood, grinds them in a blender, and then decides to charge you for consuming it.

Rekha is Super Nani, a doormat-turned-empowered woman who still falls at her insufferable husband’s feet, cooks for her whole family untiringly, and considers live-in relationships as the worst of sins.

After years of being trampled on by her family, she breaks free, thanks to her foreign-returned grandson, who convinces her that the way to teach her ungrateful wards a lesson is to become a hot-shot model.

Thus, we are subjected to half-an-hour of Rekha dressing up like characters in her older films, batting her eyelashes at us, and making us long for her heyday. Alas, even she can’t recreate her past glory, and the inane script makes her look even more caricaturish.

She mouths dialogue like “maine nau mahine tumhein meri kokh mein paala hai” (I have nurtured you in my womb for nine months), lectures her daughters on the values of looking after their family, and expresses undying loyalty for the husband whose only refrain to her is: “Your place is only in the kitchen.”Picture taken from the official Facebook page for the movie

All this would be funny if Kumar wasn’t so serious about his subject. The film embodies values that are completely out of place in a country that is finally learning to talk about women’s rights. A woman can work and earn more than her husband, but her true place is only at his feet, and she feels fulfilled only when she can serve him and her children all their lives.

Rekha as Super Nani is a shadow of her former self; and everyone around her, including Sharman Joshi as the holier-than-thou grandson, displays the lowest standards of acting.

This is essentially a story about women’s empowerment told from the point of view of a man. What else can you say about a film where the head of the Indian Women’s Association, which presents an award to the lead character for being an inspirational figure, is a man?

(Follow Shilpa on Twitter at @shilpajay. This article is website-exclusive and cannot be reproduced without permission)


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