The Secret Superstar -- And The Secret Ingredient
When was the last time we have all seen a film where a 15-year-old is the main lead? Secret Superstar is a film about Insiya, a middle-class Muslim kid from Vadodara, who so badly wants to become a singer/superstar and full fill her dreams and follow her passion. And what stops her in becoming so is an incredible story which is equally heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time. Insiya is a girl next door, whose story we can relate to when we were teenagers, mind filled with unstoppable, fierce thoughts, heart filled with a ray of hope. Insiya is fearless, she’s a sharp kid, who uses her instinct whenever she can.
At the same time, her mind is deeply disturbed, her dreams are always shattered by her angry father, who treats his daughter nothing more than a liability.
Aamir Khan once said in an interview that, ‘In India, we don’t make films for kids, we never think of them as an audience, after my Taare Zameen Par, I have not seen many notable films which are made for children, and about children’.
Well, he is damn right, after almost a year full disappointing movies, Secret Superstar is definitely, a delight to watch in theatres with family.
Not that the film has got everything correct. The plot of the film is utterly predictable (and in a way clichéd too) but, where it gets the right hold is, the way it expresses and portrays the emotions on screen. (So yeah, this is an emotional film).
The Perfect Casting In Secret Superstar
If there is anything that has to be surely credited in the film, it has to be the incredible casting. Be it the magnificent Zaira Wasim to a 4-year-old Guddu, everyone just lived in the character throughout the film.
Director Advait Chauhan said that they could not find a better kid than Zaira to play Insiya, that they had to wait for Dangal to be entirely made first, and then they had to start with the shoot of Secret Superstar. The kid is just 14 years old and already is a national award actress. (Go watch the movie for her)
Nazma (Meher Vij) as Insiya’s mother is unbelievably splendid as a vulnerable yet caring mother. This could be a film that has caught the perfect pulse of a mother-daughter relationship in a raw and emotional way. Nazma is also a wife who goes through daily physical abuse by her husband yet has nobody to share her feelings and pain with, apart from her daughter Insiya, will she be able to save her from this mess? (Go watch the film). Talking about the husband, the only negative character in the film played by Raj Arjun was as negative as could be. He’s both sickening and disgusting as both father and a husband.
I love how this film has shed light on an issue that people get scared to talk about (physical abuse). There are lakhs of Insiya’s in our country whose voices are being silenced every day and whose dreams are being shattered. This is a story of one of them. Go watch the film with your family.