Review: “It’s all about loving your parents”, there are no dearth of films based on this tagline. Filmmakers consider it their moral duty to remind us to love our parents, not separate them at our convenience and to not shove them in old age homes. Mai is yet again about loving your mother and a tale of three siblings, all of whom are reluctant to bear the responsibility of looking after their Mai, played by Asha Bhonsle.
Consequently, Padmini Kolhapure who essays the role of Madhu gets saddled with this responsibility of looking after her mother. Madhu’s life is from perfect, she may be better off in comparison to her sisters but she too has to make a lot of sacrifices in order to accommodate Mai. Her daughter, Charu (Shivani Joshi) is used to her independence and refuses to adjust to the needs of her Alzheimer’s suffering grandmother. Her husband, Subash (by Ram Kapoor) dotes on his daughter and will give into every whim she has. Apart from being a tale on how one must love their parents, the film also depicts how there comes a time in every child’s life where the roles of parent and child get interchanged. Thus, Mai refers to both Asha Bhonsle and Padmini Kohlapure.
While the film’s plot is redundant, Mai attempts to touch upon the theme of Alzheimer’s and to what extent the disease can make someone degenerate. Thanks to Asha Bhonsle’s sensitive portrayal of an ailing woman, the film is a wee bit watchable and you’re constantly reminded of how this disease isn’t merely about losing your identity, along with it one regresses and becomes nothing short of a child. Known for her effervescent personality, the way Bhonsle slips into Mai’s character is incredible. Her disoriented expressions, the way she talks to herself, all of them not only seem so real but one glance is all it takes to make you weep.
Padmini Kolhapure plays the ideal daughter, slapping her two-faced brother when he deserves it, singing her mother to sleep and trying her best to harmonize the environment at home. As far as Ram Kapoor is concerned, this is certainly not the first time he’s playing the angry young man, variety is the spice of life, Mr. Kapoor! Shivani Joshi as Charu is highly irritating especially when she whines and then later just like in Baghban realizes her grandmother’s value when it’s too late.
Bhonsle truly has saved this film who’s script itself could be far better. We would have liked to see a more positive film, one that set an example on how children should treat their parents without stretching the drama element and why couldn’t Mai have Parkinson’s? So much has been said and known about Alzheimer’s, shouldn’t filmmakers raise awareness about issues that aren’t commonly known about. To worsen matters, apart from a few scenes, Mai’s screenplay doesn’t help and you have far too many songs inserted. Unfortunately, the audience doesn’t shed tears except in scenes that feature the brilliant Asha Bhonsle and maybe Padmini Kolhapure.
If you’re ready to overlook its cons then go right ahead and catch it, you’ll find yourself rooting for Mai!
Verdict: Watch it solely for Asha Bhonsle, the soul of this film.
Release Date: Feb 1, 2013
Director: Mahesh Kodiyal
Genre: Drama, Family
Run time: 1 hr 45 mins
Writer: Mahesh Kodiyal
Cast & Crew: Asha Bhosle, Ram Kapoor, Padmini Kolhapure and Shivani Joshi