In ‘Secret Superstar’, a teenager wishes to be a singing star. But her conservative father will beat her black and blue if she’s caught pursing this line. Thankfully, she has the full backing of her mother; and Youtube and a burkha allows her a chance…
Starring: Zaira Wasim, Meher Vij, Raj Arjun Director: Advait Chandan India release date: Oct 18, 2017 Genre: Family drama Language: Hindi Duration: 2 hours 30 mins
“In the 1995 blockbuster Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, the mood of the house changes as soon as its patriarch (Amrish Puri) rings the bell. Before that, it was alive with Western music, with the girls dancing with each other, and their mother breaking into a twist in the kitchen… A diametrically opposite scene, imbued with similar themes, appears halfway through Secret Superstar, when the patriarch of the house leaves for work.”
“Cheerful, feel-good imagery of a rotten reality… Zaira Wasim is an absolute wonder… She effortlessly conveys the strength of a single-minded artiste, the temper of a hurricane holding back, the impulses of free-spirited adolescence and the guts of a girl who knows who she is.”
“We’ve seen it all before: the same beats, domestic conflicts, evil fathers, patriarchy, submissive wives, bruised faces, oppressive burkhas, glassy-eyed dreams, smashed guitars, rock ballad tunes, digital fame, unlikely mentors, breaking free, speeches, winning. We’ve seen a million kids dream through the patronizing eyes of adult filmmakers who think they can speak to us by over-simplifying life lessons. Yet, this film is mainstream done right.”
“There are far too many turns in this film that defy logic and render the narrative clichéd and stereotypical. While ‘Secret Superstar’ might have had the good intentions of showcasing Zaira Wasim’s talents as an actress, it clearly does disservice to the craft of filmmaking in the process.”
“On one hand Secret Superstar gives us a cliche character of a feminist lawyer who is sour and preachy, on the other it gives us a warm, normal, loving mother trying to nurture her daughter’s dreams while presenting herself to a husband who’s given to ritual thrashing… It’ll make you see some things a little differently.”
“At the core of it… the film… centres on the amount of care and support it takes to bring up, or nurture, a defiant genius—almost like a delicate plant. Clearly that extreme love and empathy starts from the few good men/women in a society, who believe in you (some you know, many you’re lucky to have met).”
“Loved Aamir’s cameo in Secret Superstar, where he plays the creepy, washed-out music composer Shakti Kumaarr, whose mojo is the absolute belief all women on the planet want to sleep with him; he calls them ‘Babes’. The scene where he hits on his wife’s divorce lawyer’s receptionist—pure gold. Only Aamir can pull it off in the Age of #metoo, making growling noises at the receptionist while scratching his groin. Aamir reminded me of the Fellini masterpiece, ‘City of Women’, where the legendary Marcello Mastrioanni, playing the womanizer Snaporaz, accidentally wanders into a feminist convention attended by scores of women who judge and torment him; he is eventually tried for his masculine crimes. Am dead sure Aamir was watching this film during the shoot.'”
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