Ever since the Rajesh Khanna starer Avtaar made way to celluloid, filmmakers have time and again toyed with the idea of projecting the changing relationships between children and their parents. The subject last dealt in Baghban where the grown up children refuse to take care of their aging parents once again finds its space at the ticket windows with Mai! Whether it evocatively handles the situation or turns into a cliched plot let's find out.
Mai (Asha Bhosle) who single handedly raises her four children finds herself at crossroads when in time of need, her children, now grown up, refuse to take care of her. The apple of her eye Munna simply shrugs off his responsibility by taking up a lucrative job in the US leaving her to fend for herself. Even her younger two daughters let Mai down. Right then Mai's eldest daughter Madhu (Padmini Kolhapure), much to her journalist husband's (Ram Kapoor) disapproval shoulders the responsibility of her ailing and aging mother and brings her home. Madhu's husband and daughter make it difficult for her to care for mother but the doting daughter continues to support her mother who also suffers from Alzheimer's disease.
The film forms the highlight purely for legendary singer Asha Bhosle's acting debut. One look at her prowess and you wonder why did the singer wait so long! Asha Bhosle makes an earnest attempt at acting and excels in her task. The way she shows the deterioration to her character is laudable.
Had it not been for Asha Bhosle's acting debut, the film would've gone completely unnoticed for filmmaker Mahesh Kodiyal relies heavily on the tried and tested formulas of Bollywood. In a bid to connect with the audience the filmmaker adds dollops of melodrama and trite rona dhona which only annoys you.
Mai relies completely on two pillars, one Asha tai and the other - Padmini Kohlapure. The real-life niece of Ashaji, Padmini who plays the determinedly doting daughter of Mai efficiently plays her part despite not having a properly etched out character.
The director's expertise comes to fore in the way he sensitively captures the deteriorating condition of Mai owing to Alzheimer's. He surely seems to have researched quite a bit about the disease to keep his facts right.
Mai, may not be an out of the box concept but definitely deserves a watch for singer Asha Bhosle's stupendous acting debut. Her evocative performance forms the highlight of the film.
Critic: Mansha Rastogi
(2 / 5) : Average