Director: Tanuja Chandra
Cast: Sushmita Sen, Shiney Ahuja, Moushumi Chatterjee, Kim Sharma, Julian Burkhadt, Ravi Gossain
Durga, kali, santoshi mata, mother India, Nirupa Roy…. Archetypes to filmy stereotypes — mother images that are rooted in our psyche. Embodiment of Shakti. Powerful. Fiercely protective of her children. Gentle, nestling, nurturing. But most importantly, always selfless.
In Zindaggi Rocks director Tanuja Chandra (Dushman, Sangharsh) updates the mother type to contemporary times and gives us a reinvented avataar who’s fun, cool, hot and happening but also ready to make the ultimate sacrifice for her kid. Rare combination for female protagonists in mainstream cinema. After all, she’s no mythological, historical figure, no female don, bandit or angry young woman avenging rape. She’s just a regular gal, full of life…willing to die so her son can live!
Kriya (Sushmita) is a rockstar (literally!) single mom whose adopted son needs heart transplant to survive. But dearth of organ donors pushes Sushmita to desperate measures. Will she commit suicide and give him her own heart' Will survival instinct succumb to maternal instinct'
This strong woman-centric film is tailormade for Sushmita and her role fits like a glove. She gets a chance to show all her mighty stuff all right. Height, weight-trained body, peek-a-boo tattoo, trendy clothes and coiffure. And most important, her power to hold the entire film on her own shoulder. In fact, her screen presence is unlike most Bollywood heroines. She’s more like a female ‘hero’ in action. Emoting, lip-synching, (guitar-strumming looks totally fake, though) dancing and, of course, romancing her Doctor ‘love interest’ (Shiney) — a pretty nice guy with nothing much to do. Talk about reversal of roles. Can’t really say Anu Malik’s music rocks. But he does come up with an
eclectic track mixing bits of jazz, rock, romantic ballads, and foot-tapping dance numbers. Well, after all, the film may be a new take on motherhood and sacrifice and stuff, but it’s also about a pop singer. And either way, Sushmita rocks.