Movie Review:Thanks Maa (2010)
March 8 2010 (Sampurn Wire):Thanks Maa: An outstanding film
Rating: 4 out of 5*
Starring: Master Shams Patel, Master Salman, Master Fayaaz, Master Jaffar, Baby Almas, Alok Nath, Barry John and Sanjay Mishra
Director: Irfan Kamal
Salman Khan a.k.a. Municipality Ghatkopar (master Shams Patel), Soda (master Salman), Cutting (master Fayaaz), Dedh Shaana (master Jaffar) and Sursuri (baby Almas) are five slum-dwellers who bond well and do odd jobs, besides picking people’s pockets, for a living. Municipality Ghatkopar is the most principled of the lot and he is very sad about the fact that he was deserted by his mother when he was still a tiny tot. Sent to a children’s home after he is caught for a petty crime, Muni cipality runs away from there when he realises that the warden (Alok Nath) is a paedophile who is lusting for him (Municipality). While escaping from the children’s home in the middle of the night, he sees a lady abandoning a new-born baby at the doorstep of the same home. Instinctively, he picks up the baby and runs away with it so that it is spared the lustful eyes of the wretched warden. He resolves to trace the woman who left the child, christened Krish by him, but the only thing he remembers is that the taxi in which she had come to the children’s home had a picture of Salman Khan the actor from the film Tere Naam. Even as Soda taunts him for his mission, Cutting, Sursuri and Dedh Shaana join him. The four little kids now roam the streets of Bombay, trying desperately to trace Krish’s mother. With some help, they succeed in locating the cabbie, Yusuf Charsi (Sanjay Mishra), who had driven the woman to the children’s home. He leads them on to Mot wani (Ranvir Shorey) who had had an affair with the woman. Motwani, in turn, informs them of the whereabouts of the woman, Laxmi (Mukta Barve), who turns out to be a prostitute in a brothel. The four children reach the brothel and brave all dangers to get in touch with Laxmi. One destination leads to another and Municipality, with the help of the authorities in the hospital where Krish was born, and a priest who runs an or phanage, finally locates the mother of Krish but he is in for the worst shock of his life. Does Municipality give Krish to his mother? Does Munici pality get to know who his own mother is? What happens to Krish thereafter? These questions are answered in the climax.
Irfan Kamal and Vishal Vijay Kumar’s script is bold and, at the same time, it touches the heart. The writers have penned an authentic tale of street urchins. Their attitude, the language they speak, their innocence, their rawness, their intuitiveness, their mannerisms, all have been captured so beautifully that one can’t help admire the brilliance of the writers and the first-time actors playing the street kids. The film which immediately comes to mind while watching Thanks Maa is Hollywood’s Slumdog Mill ion aire (English) and its dub bed Hindi version, Slumdog Crorepati. The liberal and truly abundant use of the choicest four-letter words in Hindi adds to the authenticity of the film. The censors deserve kudos for passing the film in its raw form. The swear words would be enjoyed by the masses and the menfolk although women would feel repulsed by the overdose. The story is humane. Comedy is inherent in the dialogues mouthed by the five street children. Climax is too shocking for comfort.
Performances of the cast members are absolutely fantastic. The five actors playing the street kids deserve the highest praise for their natural acting in their maiden attempts. Master Shams Patel is outstanding and shines with an un believably realistic performance. He deserved the National Award he won.
Master Salman is very good. Fayaaz is just too natural. Baby Almas does a brilliant job and seems to be a born actress. Master Jaffar is endearing and his dialogue delivery with a straight face makes him truly unique. San jay Mishra leaves a mark. Ran vir Shorey is natural. Alok Nath does a superb job. Raghubir Yadav shines in a brief role. Barry John is fair as the priest who runs the orphanage. Mukta Barve is okay. Jalees Sher wani is nice as the eunuch. Baby Sakshi is very cute in the role of the abandoned child, Krish. Krishna (as pimp), Kodak (as prostitute Laxmi’s client), Ayesha Raza (as Motwani’s wife) and the others lend ex cellent support.
Irfan Kamal’s direction deserves distinction marks. His narrative style is raw and, given that the tale is depressing, he has done an honest job of narrating the same. Back ground music (Ranjit Barot) is in keeping with the film’s theme. Ajayan Vincent has done a splendid job with his camera. His cine mato graphy captures the proceedings marvellously. Amit Saxena and Firoz Khan’s editing is excellent. Art direction (by Tejashree Sheetal) deser ves special mention. Thrills (Abbas Ali Moghul) are realistic.
On the whole, Thanks Maa is a wonderful attempt and deserves a huge promotional budget and extensive and effective marketing, without which it could go almost unnoticed.