Secret Superstar starring Zaira Wasim in the lead is the big Bollywood release this week. Here is our Secret Superstar movie review.
Advait Chauhan’s ‘Secret superstar’ is a dream within a dream. Dreaming of being a singer seems smaller than dreaming of freeing yourself from the clutches of a conservative home helmed by an abusive father.Born in a lower middle class family in Vadodra, Insiya Malik (Zaira Wasim) is an amateur singer who believes she has what it takes to be a successful, professional vocalist.
Insiya’s father is a frustrated, orthodox & violent man. As head of the family he dictates terms and doesn’t support his daughter’s musical endeavour. Najma Malik (Meher Vij) is Insiya’s mother who tries her best to help Insiya realize her dream but often finds herself at the receiving end of her husband’s wrath. Zaira Wasim delivers another solid performance after the blockbuster success of ‘Dangal’ & Meher Vij who plays Zaira’s mother in the film is simply terrific. Meher portrays several complex emotions splendidly. She is helpless yet determined, she cares for her child but is petrified of her husband’s patriarchal mindset & beatings. The relationship between Zaira & Meher’s character is as real as it gets, both actresses are in top form as they create some telling on-screen sequences that showcase a dysfunctional family accurately.
aj Arjun performs well as the unreasonable, offensive father but he never seems overtly threatening as his character strolls through the film without really going into the brutal & horrific shades that such a character embodies.Given her situation, our secret superstar decides to post a video on YouTube, concealing her identity. The song is viral hit and Insiya is now an internet sensation. The mother-daughter duo make sure that Insiya’s father doesn’t get to know about her YouTube adventure.
As a drama, ‘Secret superstar’ had a lot of potential and the director narrates the story at his own pace without falling into any commercial trappings or the temptation to over dramatize certain sequences to make the film more engaging.However the film suffers due to the sluggish pace & especially the songs. Composed by Amit trivedi the music of the film is average at best & that is a big letdown for a movie about a budding singer.
Aamir Khan is a has-been composer, Shakti Kumar. The actor told me that his character in the film was that of an extremely self-absorbed individual who is not interested in anyone else. The music composer discovers Insiya on the internet and invites her to Mumbai to record a song for him. As a viewer you never really get to know the real Shakti Kumar, Aamir’s performance seems forced at times and he has very few scenes in the film. He goes from being obnoxious to caring as we jump from one scene to the other, so you never get to observe the character closely. Thus Aamir’s cameo is underwhelming as you remain indifferent towards the character, he basically adds nothing to the script.
The film on a whole is a good, clean effort at narrating a very important story but suffers mainly due to the sluggish pace which is a result of the debutant writer-director’s inability or unwillingness to go into the depths of the relationships, emotions and problems that he, it seems wanted to highlight.