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5 Unusuals On-Screen Moms For Mother’s Day

A  few years  ago when Anil Kapoor  was  younger, he had announced  a desi version of   the  2003  Mark Waters directed  Disney rom-com Freaky Friday where  Mom Jamie Lee Curtis  and daughter Lindsey Lohan swapped places.  Anil wanted  Sonam Kapoor  to play the daughter. The fact that she  is his daughter had nothing to do with it. Anil in his professional  opnion found her  to be  the  best candidate  for the part. For  the “freaky”  Anil wanted Madhuri Dixit who chickened out as she  didn’t want to play a mom to an adult. Then Kirron Kher was brought in.  Finally  the project was dropped. Freaky moms are unacceptable to Indian audiences. Here are  5 unsuccessful mom films to prove it.

1.     Mumtaz  in Andhiyan(1990): This was  meant to be the  most  sassy mom-son story on this side  of  Mother India. Mumtaz who had long quit movies made  her comeback as  the hip cool  and sexy mom to Prosenjit Chatterji who made his debut in Hindi cinema with this film. Aandhiyan failed to  whip a storm.  Says producer Pahlaj Nihalani, “They couldn’t accept  a mother who  was  a pal to her son. Who wore jeans  instead of saris.Who treated her son as her  best  friend amd who didn’t spend all her time weeping and making sacrifices  for her ladla beta.”

2.     Manisha Koirala In  Akele Hum Akele Tum(1995): Heavily inspired  by Kramer Versus Kramer, this was the story of  an ambitious mother who walks out on her marriage leaving her husband Aamir Khan to  look after  their son. Audiences were aghast. “Which  Mom  does this? Walk out on a happy marriage and leave her little  son behind?  It  wasn’t as  if her husband was  a  wife-beater  or something. He was  a nice sweet chap. Yet she chose her career  over family? I got a  lot of hate mail for this. But I   loved  my role.  Meryl Streep had done  the  original and  got an Oscar. I didn’t get anything. But I enjoyed the  experience  of  being a  mother who  was very different from other  screen moms,” says Manisha.

3.     Shabana Azmi in Log  Kya Kahenge(1982): Shabana admits she  went a  little  too far  in this  one. She played a woman forced into  marriage  with a  widower(Sanjeev Kumar)  who  kills her stepson with her bare hands. Says  Shabana,  “I saw  the look in my eyes  on screen when I am strangling my  screen son. It frightened me.Somewhere inside us we secrete these homicidal tendencies. It was not a pleasant experience.”   Not  for  the audience either. They rejected this  B R Ishaara  directed  tribute  to the twisted mother.

4.     Priyanka  Chopra In Pyaar Impossible(2010):  At  age 28 Priyanka “dared” to play a  mother  to a  rebellious teenage daughter(Advika Yadav). They  hung out together. They fought like   cats  and dogs….sorry cats and kittens. Mom dated  guys. Daughter dated guys. Not quite  Mother  India, this one. Audiences rejected the  film.Mother  impossible!

5.     Reena  Roy in Apnapan(1977): In a make or break career  move, Reena  Roy elected to play a  mother who  abandons  her  husband and  son  for greener  pastures  but  dares  to  return to get her  previous life . Reena’s  well-wishers  were  aghast. “How can you do this  role? It is  the vamp’s role? The homebreaker!”  Reena stuck to her guns. After the  film’s release  they  gave her  the Filmfare award for best supporting actress. She rejected the honour. Imagine being honoured for a  supporting role after playing  a homebreaker!

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