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Secret Superstar Review

 Secret Superstar movie review

Movie Reviews > Secret Superstar
Producer Aamir Khan, Kiran Rao 
Director Advait Chandan 
Music Director Amit Trivedi  
Cast Zaira Wasim as Insia
Meher Vij as Najma, Insias Mother
Aamir Khan as Shakti Kumar
Raj Arjun
Harsh Jha
Aryan Ashik
Manuj Sharma as Ranjeet
Tirth Sharma


Secret Superstar movie cast: Zaira Wasim, Meher Vij, Raj Arjun, Aamir Khan, Kabir Sajid
Secret Superstar movie director: Advait Chandan
Secret Superstar movie rating: 2.5 stars
The deep pleasures of a simple story, simply yet eloquently told, is what makes Secret Superstar such an engaging, true watch. Till the first half.
In the build-up, there is a refreshing absence of gimmicks, and diversions. Post-interval, it dips, and the result is a film which stops short of being superlative.
The film begins and stays with fifteen-year-old Vadodara-based Insiya (Wasim) who dreams of becoming a famous singer. A controlling, abusive father (Arjun), a submissive yet supportive mother (Vij), an elderly relative, a little brother, a simpatico school friend, and her beloved guitar: these make up Insiya’s world. And each of these elements is so deftly introduced and developed that we are fully invested in the young girl.
The second half slides. The confidence that the narrative shows in the beginning begins to waver as it includes contrivances and predictable curves. We are rooting for Insiya all the way, and when she is made to break through with such deceptive ease, her victory seems not earned enough.
And that mars the film, which opens with credits in Hindi, English and Urdu, as was customary at a time when Hindi cinema’s appeal cut across languages, audiences and demographics. It is a real thrill to see that opening frame –a train cutting through a countryside, a round of antakshari being played in a compartment, and a young hopeful face looking out of the window. You see the film putting the story first, and the star second, just like it happened in Taare Zameen Par, but the pay-off isn’t as credible.
The biggest strength of Secret Superstar is the wonderful Wasim who was also in Dangal: it is such a delight to see a 15-year-old look and feel like a 15 year old, and not a painted doll. Both Vij as the mother and Arjun as the father are terrific, especially the latter, who doesn’t put a foot wrong.
Aamir Khan shows up as the out-of-flavour musician Shakti Kumaarr, all tight animal-printed Ts and crotch-hugging jeans, and while his I’m-so-irresistible strutting schtick starts off funny, you wish he had more to do. And after a point, it starts feeling stretched.
Fortunately for the film, and us, we are left with young Insiya and her shining face, a beacon of hope for herself and girls in her situation. I liked her enormously, and Wasim plays her with great brio, a mix of sparkle and tentativeness. I wish I liked the film as much.  

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