The secret Superstar is Insiya Malik (played by Zaira Wasim). The reason she is discreet is her misogynist father. But she has an amazing mother Najma (played by Meher Vij), who despite all odds is supportive of her and lets her follow her dreams.
Insiya dreams of becoming a play back singer in bollywood and show the world her talent. Insiya’s father, though, is an abusive man, beats his wife at the drop of a hat and it’s unfortunate that Najma thinks it’s okay since he is a man and can have a foul temper and a loose hand (this statement made me squirm). He does not believe in freedom to women and would not tolerate his daughter singing songs. But the mother and the daughter share a fantastic bond and look forward to the days when her father would be traveling due to work and the two women may have their way at home.
Insiya is encouraged by her mother to upload a video of her song on you-tube, wearing a burqa to hide it from her father and she does it under the pseudonym ‘secret superstar’. Soon she is a singing sensation and gets millions of views and likes and is big news in the music industry. The situation at home is getting worse with her father remaining aggressive, violent and abusive. Shakti Kumar (Aamir khan) is a loud music director in bollywood not very respected and to a point that singers association has banned him and none of the singers want to work with him. He is searching for a new singer for his upcoming movie projects.
How does he manage to get Insiya to sing for him? Does her father ever know that the ‘secret superstar’ is his daughter? Does her mother find courage to stand up to an abusive husband? Answers to these questions makeup the remaining movie.
The first half of the movie moves very slowly and gets very predictable and we really hope for a move on. The second half is better paced and of course there is Aamir Khan in the second half and he is amazing in the role. You just yearn to see more of him. He takes the narration to the next level and with his exit the narration falls a few notches. Zaira is superb in the movie. Her frustration with the situation but her confidence of turning things around never seems unrealistic. I guess the spirit of the millennials just shines through. When she sings it looks so real with her demeanor and body language. Meher Vij is brilliant too, how come we did not see more of her earlier? But the movie is also about the bond that the mother and daughter share. Her mother protects and helps and encourages her to dream. She is aware of the minimal that she could give her daughter but she wants her to make maximum out of it. Insiya too adores her mother and supports and encourages her mother to get out of the abusive marriage and make a better life. The movie is also about following your dreams under all circumstances and never giving up.
The music of the movie is good but should have been better considering a movie about music. The singer Meghna Mishra who has sung all of Insiya’s songs is brilliant and fresh. The direction is fine. Great in some scenes. Story line is thin and very predictable. The first half could have been tighter. Aamir Khan saves the second half.
Its festive time. It’s a onetime watch.