Mother’s Day 2022: The on-screen ups & downs of motherhood

Yasmin Shabir

Features Writer


Many books have been written about motherhood but till one experiences this themselves it is hard to understand this journey. It isn’t an easy path, one could say that at times it is all trial and error.

27th March marks the occasion of Mother’s Day. On this day, looks at five films that explore the ups and downs of motherhood.

‘Tribhanga: Tedhi Medhi Crazy’ (2021)
Kajol plays the role of Anu who doesn’t see eye to eye with her mother Nayan (Tanvi Azmi). The two actresses had played mother and daughter many years back in the thriller ‘Dushman’ (1998), however this story was more about the mother and daughter and the cracks within their relationship. The interesting thing about this story was that no one was right, in fact each character had flaws which they were unable to see themselves.

Nayan (Azmi) is a well known writer who has a way with words. In her daughter’s own words she is a genius but also very strange. To the world she may be an inspiration but to her daughter Anu (Kajol) she is a huge disappointment. A mother by name because she was the one person who should have been there for her daughter and protected her at all costs but she failed.

Her daughter Anu is a talented classical dancer with a very outspoken nature. On the outside she seems very content with her life and has a lot of confidence but on the inside she’s like an unsolved jigsaw with missing pieces. Her childhood experiences occasionally haunt her as she tries to put her past behind her. Watching her mother she vowed she’d never be like her but unknowingly she makes many mistakes and she only realises this when her own daughter Masha (Mithila Palkar) confronts her.

This story showed the audience that motherhood isn’t as simple as one thinks. No matter how much one tries mistakes will be made but how a person moves on from these mistakes is what counts.

‘Tehzeeb’ (2003)
It was a love hate relationship that Tehzeeb (Urmila Matondkar) and Rukhsana Jamal (Shabana Azmi) had. There were times when Tehzeeb (Matondkar) looked up to her mother and in some ways wanted to be like her and then there were other times she despised her. Tehzeeb was a child when her father died and certain things she saw made her feel that her mother was the cause of his death. She never told her mother these things but inside she had a grudge against her. Her little sister Nazneen also known as Nazo (Dia Mirza) had learning difficulties and although she was an adult she had the mind of a child. Rukhsana (Azmi) seemed distant and scared almost of her own child while with Tehzeeb she tried to get closer to her only to fail at every attempt.

In the film we do get to see some lovely moments between the mother and her two daughters but also some heart breaking moments that reveal the realistic side of relationships. The saying that every relationship has its ups and downs well in this case that is true. All the actresses from Azmi, Matondkar and Mirza left an impression on the viewer after watching the film.

‘Shaandaar’ (2015)
No matter how old a person gets they will always remain a child for their mother. A child who doesn’t know what is in their best interest such is the case for Bipin Arora (Pankaj Kapur). Although Bipin (Kapur) is a grown man with two grown daughters he still gets ordered around by his mother Kamla Arora (Sushma Seth), who rules his and his brother’s lives. Kamla, also out of respect is called mummyji lacks any warmth or loving bone in her body. For her everything is a business deal, if it makes money or makes them look good it is a must, the feelings of her family members have zero value to her. Everyone in the family hates her because she hates them too, it is only Bipin’s wife that seems to have a great relationship with mummyji as she agrees with everything her mother in law says.

Such is the situation that when mummiji passes away there are no tears whatsoever if by chance there are any, they are of happiness. Seth has played the role of a mother many times over the years but in this film she is unforgettable.

‘Dear Zindagi’ (2016)
The way Kaira (Alia Bhatt) interacts with her mother would make anyone uncomfortable. Her negative attitude and the way she rudely talks to her signifies that Kaira (Bhatt) doesn’t really like her mother very much. There are many times during the film where her mother tries to make an effort. She rings Kaira to see how she is and asks her what she’d like to eat when she comes home only to receive a cold reply back.

Kaira’s behaviour may seem unacceptable to many but it is only when the audience learn the real reason why she reacts that way they sympathise with her. When she really needed her parents they didn’t have time for her and when she had finally gotten used to her new way of life without them they wanted her back. It was unfair that all these adults were doing as they pleased without a care for her feelings. As an adult Kaira was still pretty much affected by the things that had happened in her childhood she was afraid people would leave her. Her mother played by Aban Bharucha Deohans lived with her guilt everyday and tried to give her daughter love and attention but it was all too late, the damage had been done.

Bhatt and Bharucha Deohans’s scenes were really intense at times and very real. Their performances made the audience feel many emotions especially in the scene when Kaira finally confronts her parents.

‘Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela’ (2013)
Supriya Pathak Kapur was seen in a new avatar in this film. The sweet lady had transformed into a fearless gangster named Dhankor Baa who knew how to take charge of matters around her. It was her way or no way at all and no one dared to oppose her. That is until her daughter Leela (Deepika Padukone) falls in love with the enemy Ram (Ranveer Singh). Her mother at first tries to arrange her marriage with a man who seems too naive to be getting himself involved in a household that solves matters with guns. Leela (Padukone) strongly opposes the proposal that has been brought to her and seeing the situation even the poor guy wants to end this matter and go home never to return.

Eventually Leela and Ram get married only to be separated again. Dhankor Baa (Pathak Kapur) doesn’t accept the marriage and sets up an engagement ceremony for her daughter. Leela tells her mother that the ring that Ram (Singh) has put on her finger shall never come off at this her mother sees this as a challenge and cuts that very finger off. However before doing so she tells her daughter that she is her pride, her honour and if anyone else had done what she did they wouldn’t be alive. Dhankor Baa loved her children very much but her pride meant so much to her.

The team at wishes its readers a very happy Mother’s day!