review mom knows how to do a good revenge on netflix

(a) mother country

In just a few years, the production company Clean Slate Filmz has made a name for itself in Indian genre cinema. With actress-producer Anushka Sharma at its helm, the studio has a reputation for presenting gripping and radical stories, very virulent towards Indian society. The announcement of a new collaboration with Netflix for a series therefore had something to excite us.

And from the first minutes, the Clean Slate recipe seems to take. We have the classic combo of good Indian thrillers : cases of corruption, a chilling portrait of the social violence that plagues the country, of community tensions. Add to that a brutal accident which is not one and we embark very quickly in this investigation. The story will thus follow Sheel, a middle-class mother seeking the truth about the death of her daughter.

An investigator anchored in a realistic universe

This idea of ​​a single mother facing the system haunts Indian cinema. One can think of the superb Kahaani of Sujoy Ghosh or to Mom, the last role of the late Sridevi. Atul Mongia and Anshai Lal, the two directors of the series, decide to stand out by adopting a very realistic approach. Sheel is not not a fictional superheroine who discovers herself to be the reincarnation of Sherlock Holmes overnight. Her investigation is slipping, she is often mistaken and suffers the consequences. In this sense, Sheel can evoke Sarah from The Killingless professional experience.

The realistic approach translates logically into a rather slow pace. No question of having a frenetic investigation where each element is settled in the second way The experts. And if May sometimes lacks panache, its relative slowness has two advantages. First of all, it allows the story to draw an acerbic and detailed portrait of contemporary India. And thanks to this false rhythm, each explosion of violence sees its effectiveness increased tenfold. Without any spoiler, we will be surprised by some shots of unexpected visceral brutality.

May, a mother's rage: photoDid you say violence?

How I put your daughter

What makes the strength of Clean Slate productions is their visual identity. We still remember the dreamlike beauty of bulbbul or the heavy atmosphere of Paatal Lok. With May however, technique seems relegated to the background. Atul Mongia was however a second unit director on Titli, an Indian chroniclea lesson in social cinema that does not neglect form for content.

Globally, May tick the boxes of classic netflix thriller, nothing more. The staging is never shameful, but it does not seek to be more than functional. We alternate between pretty shots that make good use of shadow play and banal shots and reverse shots. When we know that Indian Netflix series can have the visual ambition of The Lord of Bombaya simply correct result is frustrating.

May, a mother's rage: photoHave light on all floors

To compensate for the lack of rhythm and the excessive number of secondary characters, the editing attempts to instill a sense of urgency. Some time jumps, however, impinge on the coherence of the story. Beyond a sometimes confusing time management, characters find themselves by magic exactly where they need to be in order to trigger the sequence of events necessary for the scenario. Yes the writing is generally very well keptthese facilities are regrettable.

We find with pleasure several of the themes dear to Clean Slate productions. The subtle and thoughtful feminist commitment, anger towards institutions, it all works. We still regret a lack of intensity. May stay very wise if we compare it to the mind-blowing wickedness of a Paatal Lok or the anger of NH10 and bulbbul. Perhaps a track to explore if the season 2 announced by the final twist sees the light of day.

May, a mother's rage: photo

When we ask you more anger for season 2

Who killed Supriya Rose?

The great strength of May is based on its main character. Complex and deep, Sheel is never a caricature. It’s always exciting to have a strong and nuanced heroine, highly imperfect. If she undergoes a role that society imposes on her, there is something disturbing in her rage as in her love. This psychotic specter under the guise of maternal love immaculate is also reminiscent of Mother by Bong Joon-ho.

Both fearful and abnormally courageous, Sheel doesn’t seem never shocked by violence which bursts around her. Certainly because she has already been subjected to this symbolic violence since her birth. Moreover, she is never deified. We are spared neither its flaws nor its excesses of cruelty. Like the ambiguous relationship she has with a young man whom she confines to obtain answers. A sort of less nihilistic rereading of prisoners. And to top it off, actress Sakshi Tanwar is fabulous in the role. Accustomed to supporting roles and poor quality series, she finally has the opportunity to shine and does not miss it.

May, a mother's rage: photoDo you like the cinema of Villeneuve?

We would like to say that all the characters are written with as much care as Sheel. Unfortunately, this is far from the case. May account lots of secondary characters. Too much. The friend released from prison for having killed her violent husband, the policeman’s wife in the throes of depression, the uncertain rookie who wants to rise in rank… These characters monopolize far too much screen time, for an almost non-existent narrative interest.

We will still remember outstanding personalities. The despicable in-laws who embody the indecent cult of social success in India. Or the big bad who arrives two episodes from the end to energize the story and offer frankly thrilling sequences. But now, his arrival completely breaks the realistic and refined framework that had been laid down for the rest of the season. The dishonesty of the final cliffhanger perfectly illustrates this in-between. the tension between pop thriller and realistic setting.

May, the Rage of a mother is available in full on Netflix since April 15

माई: Official Poster

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