Maja Ma Movie Review: How Much ‘Maja’ In This Madhuri Dixit & Gajraj Rao Starrer Film?
Last updated on July 25th, 2023 at 11:20 am
Maja Ma Movie Review: What happens when a long-married couple learns that their years of marriage were built on a lie? Do they give up or try to solve the problem?
In order to explore the complexity of sexual identity, social graces, hypocrisy, and untruth, the plot of “Maja Ma” exploits the household setting.
Pallavi and Manohar Patel (Madhuri Dixit and Gajraj Rao) are completely satisfied in a city that is obviously Gujarati, complete with “bens,” “mota bhais,” and “garba evenings.”
Ritwik Bhowmik’s character, Son Tejas, is someplace in the US and is pining for Esha, who is distinctly American-desi (Barkha Singh). While arranging a long-distance marriage, Tara (Shruti Shrivastava) raises a bell for LGBTQ rights.
When the bride’s parents, Bob & Pam Hansraj (Rajit Kapur & Sheeba Chaddha), come to India with their strong preconceptions and accents, things start to go sideways.
Every opportunity is taken to patronize the very grounded, middle-class Patels. When they are welcomed inside the house with a “arti,” Bob mumbles, “So authentic, aa-then-tic.”
Pam frequently gives herself forced smiles when the chance presents itself. It becomes clear that she has a past with the lady of the house when old friends Kanchan & Moolchand (Simone Singh & Kamat) arrive, further complicating the situation.
A weird rumor about Pallavi, who has been for years the model of a dedicated wife and mother, throws the slight thaw between the desis and the NRIs into cold storage.
The rumor starts to spread like wildfire after taking root. Has Pallavi been loyal to her partner? Or has she been holding back affections for someone else, which have now surfaced?
Even while Bollywood has previously struggled with same-sex relationships and is now much more at ease discussing what were formerly taboo subjects, a movie that speaks so candidly about what may have been, even if it does so in stops and starts, is nevertheless cause for celebration.
One of the film’s high moments is a talk between Pallavi with Manohar about the value of actual sentiments and how obedient marriage sex is not the same as an experience that gives true “maja.”
The truth can set people free, as evidenced by a feisty conversation with three happily married but long-married women about husbands who do not stare, actually look, at their wives.
Unfortunately, the rest of the movie doesn’t quite match up. The American pair doesn’t bother to hide their obnoxiousness, which makes them unintentionally funny.
At one point, the emphasis on agency and how the decision to “come out” is always up to the individual is emphasized; nevertheless, at other times, it turns into a topic that other people want to poke their noses into.
The movie gets muddled and clumsy because it tries to be brave while also being safe.
Some of the performances surpass the quality of the movie. Chaddha makes an effort to transcend her limitations and occasionally succeeds.
The amiable Rao has experience marrying ladies of substance; in “Badhaai Do,” he accompanied Neena Gupta; in this scene, he provides Dixit with capable company.
She serves as the movie’s center of gravity, and in several scenes, she proves to be the actress most capable of bringing her nuanced, yearning character to life.