Film Review: Secret Superstar

Aamir Khan’s films have always delivered a social message. Here, in SS, there’s more than one-domestic violence not paying in the long run, empowerment of the girl child and the bonding between a Muslim girl and a Gujarati boy with their naivety and innocent ‘I love you’.

Insiya Malik (Zaira Wasim), a school-going girl with a passion for singing and playing the guitar puts out a video on YouTube which catches the attention of Shakti Kummaar (Aamir Khan), a once successful music-director but now down on his luck with two failed marriages. Insiya dotes on her submissive mother (Meher Vij), who’s taken her husband’s (Raj Arjun) violent temper and physical abuse for granted. The daughter’s pleas for her mother to divorce falls on deaf ears till a two-minute talk from her grandma awakens the rebel in her.

It’s a superb act by the young Zaira in only her second film after Dangal. Her childlike charm, coupled with her chubby face makes her instantly endearing to the viewer, right from the opening scenes where she stares out of the train window. Aamir’s performance as the garrulous and ostentatious music director who’s despised by the industry but with a heart of gold, turns out to be the scene-stealer even while letting Zaira walk away with the accolades. Meher Vij, Raj Arjun and Kabir Sajid as Tirth, Insiya’s Gujju classmate have given splendid performances. Advait Chandan’s direction is admirable while Amit Trivedi’s music score is pleasing, with ‘Main kaun hoon’ standing out.

On the flip side, the story and the second half seemed trite. Insiya’s acceptance speech also seemed a bit over-dramatic.

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