Secret Superstar Film Review: Viral Is The Way

| October 20, 2017 | 0 Comments

When you dream to attain a star status in your chosen field,you have to go all out inspite of distractions,obstructions and speed breakers.

Genius as Edison said is one percent inspiration and ninety nine percent perspiration.

Secret Superstar has a dreamer in Insiya Malik (Zaira Wasim) who at an impressionable age of 15 aspires to be a superstar in singing,where her songs are not only heard by just a bunch of school friends,but the whole world.

It took Picasso thirty years to just scribble on a piece of paper and tell the autograph seeker, this is worth a million dollars.

But it’s a millennial generation that has been brought up on viral videos,likes and comments on facebook,youtube,instagram.

So all it takes is to have a viral video on youtube and there you are! Arrived,acknowledged and appreciated.

Insiya,brought up in middle class environs of Vadodara,has an abusive and violent father (Raj Arjun) who has no qualms in giving thrashing to his wife Najma(Meher Vij)at the proverbial drop of a hat.

Insiya wants her mother to take a divorce from such a man. Now mother with no education,financial wherewithal seems to have no choice. But she supports her daughter whole-heartedly in realising her dream of becoming a singing sensation. She seems to be living her dreams through Insiya.

How Insiya realises her dream of being a superstar is the stuff of this Cinderella like fairytale.

Yes it’s more of a fairytale than a movie rooted in realism. All that is realistic is just surface like a brash,abrasive music composer Shakti Kumarr aka Aamir Khan.

By the time movie reaches it’s finale you have meandered through a domestic violence saga, daughter-mother bonding,value of girl child,a teenage romance between Insiya and her classmate Chintan (Tirath Sharma)

You are taken on a bullet train ride of a girl who started playing guitar at the age of six,without taking any training (as her father is dead against all such distractions), and then making her first youtube video incognito that goes viral!

With batting of an eyelid,the girl is offered a playback singing opportunity and again without any training,lessons whatsoever(Girl Kishore Kumar?),she does a fantabulous job of her first playback song under the baton of Shakti Kumarr!

So much,so soon that you have difficulty suspending your disbelief. The way Insiya goes about realising her dream,could result in twisted perception amongst the impressionable teenagers as how to bend the rules, and how easy it is to land a playback singing opportunity in Bollywood!

But in the auditorium while watching all this, you tend to go with the flow,just because of pleasant faces,commendable performances all around and a real endearing act by Aamir Khan.

His Shakti Kumarr modelled on American Idol judge,blunt and brazen Simon Cowell,and his Indian avatar Anu Malik is a hoot.His presence though at times over-the-top is like spring shoots in the winter season.

Writer-Director Advait Chandan in his debut has acquitted himself well by crafting a watchable film that has many lump-in-the-throat moments.

A movie based on singing,unfortunately has no chartbuster melodies,mixes or mash ups. It’s acknowledged in a back handed manner,when Insiya tells Shakti Kumarr that his tunes have no melody like Aashiqui or Aashiqui 2.

Another takeaway from the movie is definitely this: In pursuit of being a Star, it’s not only your own talent and ambition that is enough. To take you there many secret hands are involved,that make your journey smooth,friction free and fun.

It’s these hidden hands that are the secret superstars to your glory. Insiya acknowldeges this by giving credit to her mother. But come to think of it, there were others too. Insiya’s teenage boyfriend Chintan, star composer Shakti Kumarr. Genius is just not bubbles in a soda that rise up on their own.

Genius needs chiselling,course correction and guidance too.In that sense, even Insiya’s cad of a father whose resistance made her resolve stronger and kept her rebellious spirit simmering to explode just at the right moment,is a secret prodder.

I doubt whether the director had such an all-encompassing vision.His focus was narrow, just mother-daughter bonding.Still it’s a calming and freeing experience.Just for that the movie is worth a watch.


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Category: Reviews

About the Author ()

Dhieraj Mohan is Hindi cinema's keen observer. With earnest interest in its dynamics and constantly changing milieu he revels in dwelling on the discrepancies, idiosyncrasies,contradictions,masala and the formula that defines Bollywood.He is a poet and a screenwriter too,who simply adores Hindi cinema's chameleon like traits.

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