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Times of India
: Charu has been very close to her mom, who is a single mother. When she gets into a relationship, she tries to migrate to Canada with her boyfriend and she doesn’t reveal it to her mom. The mother, who does numerous odd jobs to make ends meet, is now on the mission to acquire Rs 6 lakh for her daughter, under the assumption that she is leaving the country for higher studies.
: It’s hard enough being a working mother in a big city with enough money in the pocket, then how about a single mom without much earnings and a student daughter for whom you have to pay college fees? Not everyone is a supermom and most women in the position end up surrendering their whole life and happiness for the sake of the kids. In a movie that fetched Surabhi Lakshmi the National Award for the Best Actress, she navigates the myriad emotions and complexities of the same, with ease.
Central to the story is a woman, probably in her mid-forties, whose name is never once mentioned. She works in the housekeeping department of a company, part-times as domestic help in a writer’s house and does any odd job that comes her way to procure enough money for a decent living and her daughter’s education.
While Charu, her daughter, understands the tribulations of her mom, she is torn between her love life and the ground realities and forced to prioritise one over the other. There are no marks for guessing who gets chosen to be side-lined.
Director Anil Thomas has taken full advantage of the considerable talent of Surabhi Lakshmi, who seizes the role with fire in her eyes. In the way she walks, talks and even looks at someone, she has mustered all energy to let the character take over. You can’t help an occasional lump in your throat or a drop of a tear, for the performance forces you to empathise with her throughout the length of the movie.
The rest of the actors have also given an impeccable performance. What touches you the most is how well she tries to watch the proceedings from her daughter’s shoes, and move ahead positively. The film is not without flaws and probably due to the nature of the subject, you get a ‘mega-serial’ feel at times. But that doesn’t hamper the overall experience and there are numerous scenes that follow you outside the hall, as memories of class performances.
If you don’t mind shedding a tear or immersing in the realities of raising a child single-handedly for some time, Minnaminungu is worth a watch.