The best movie, I really truly think, is the one I will be reviewing on Sunday, Pari. It gets at the pain and sacrifice and terror of motherhood in a really visceral way. But these are all good too, if you want to sob and sob about the misery of being a mother.
Prepare to watch these, and then sob in sympathetic pain at the difficulties of sacrificing everything for your children. Actually, just in case, I am going to rate this at 1 to 5 knives to the heart.
Mom (Knives to the heart count: 4. Movie itself gets 3, plus Sridevi’s dead so that adds another)
Sridevi’s last role. She plays a mother, as described in the title. But not a boring mother who supports nags her children to avoid danger, but one who rushes into danger in order to protect her children from it. She takes the pain, physical and emotional, and carries it for them. And is scarily cold about what she has to do for them.
Kannathil Mutthamittal (Knives to the heart count: 4. Any other list, this one would be 5, but compared to what is coming it could still be worse)
There are two mothers in this movie, Simran and Nandita Das. They are seemingly very different, one of them present and practical and delicate, the other harsh and distant. But they are both very strong and very brave in their own way, and willing to do whatever is best for their daughter.
Thira (Knives to the heart count: 2. This is almost cheerful, in the end!)
Shobhana isn’t technically a mother in this movie, she doesn’t have any children of her own, but that doesn’t mean she isn’t a mother in a real way. She plays a woman who rescues children from trafficking, and keeps them safe afterwards.
Ente Ummante Peru (Knives to the heart count: 2. Another one that ends with just a faint tear in the eye)
Such a nice movie! Our hero is looking for the perfect mother, but instead he finds the mother who is perfect for him. Despite her complaining and lying and using him, she is still exactly what he needs.
Bombay (Knives to the heart count: 5. Oh yeah, this one is a killer. Watch at your own risk)
No I haven’t reviewed Bombay yet, because I don’t want to cry a million tears. Manisha Koirala is an amazing mother in this movie, making you feel the complete loss of a mother without her children, and giving us the catharsis we need at the end when they are reunited.
Lajja (Knives to the heart count: 3. Mostly because Ajay is AWESOME, and so is Anil, and they make everything better)
There are 3 mothers in this movie, Manisha again who leaves everything behind for the sake of her unborn child, Madhuri who tries to stand up for her unborn child, and Rekha who does everything she can for her grown son. All of them suffer and survive, but being a mother is HARD.
Neerja (Knives to the heart count: 5+. Oh yeah, it’s already sad, and then you learn it’s based on a true story? And see the real life mother doing the blessing for the first day of filming?)
How many action movies are about the deep bond between a mother and daughter? Well, I guess a lot of the ones on this list. But this one is still special. A real life heroine whose story is told through the pain of her mother.
Talaash (Knives to the heart count: 3. It’s pretty sad for a while there, but it ends triumphantly in it’s own way)
Rani is a different kind of mother here. One who was broken by her child and slowly manages to put herself back together stronger than ever, eventually able to “mother” her husband when he needs her.
Guppy (Knives to the heart count: 5. Wait for the end. You will cry so hard, you will be dehydrated)
Oh, this one will KILL YOU!!!! Revathi plays a childish sweet weak mother in a wheelchair, but she still tries her best to show her love for her son, to make him feel safe and loved as best she can.
Jhankaar Beats (Knives to the heart count: 1. Almost none really, but there is a little moment when Juhi gets so heart by her husband that she stops yelling at him and then everyone gets upset. So that’s one knife)
And we end with a happy one! Juhi is heavily pregnant and chasing after her 5 year old daughter for most of this film. She is funny and flirty and sometimes angry, but she is also the rock for not just her husband and their daughter, but all his friends as well.