MAMI 2023: MAI (2023) Movie Review – A wonderful healing drama

A wonderful healing drama

Sometimes in life we become so self-centered and engulfed in ourselves that we miss what is in front of us. It is not easy to get out of that shell. We just need a good mental shake that will wake us up from that slumber.

“MAI” is a short film directed by Milind Dhaimade. It stars Kunal Roy Kapur and Shahana Goswami in the lead. It tells the story of a 35-year-old man Suman Das, who is obsessed with his mother’s cooking.

After his mother passes away suddenly, he scrambles to save up the food she last made. He meets Mona who has a knack to break down any dish she tastes. He enlists her help to recreate his mother’s cooking. Does Mona succeed? How does Suman process this grief? This forms the crux of the short film.

The character of Suman Das has quite the one-track mind. He disagrees to any food other than his mother’s cooking. His rejection of outside food also peeks into his inability to move on.

During one of his conversations with Mona, she asks why he never thought of getting married. He replies he never felt the need to. This goes to show the bubble he has secured himself in. His life, as mundane and sedentary as it was, ended up being the world that he did not look to change.

When he dismisses Mona’s recreation of his mother’s biryani recipe, Mona is dejected to see the utter inability of Suman to move on. Suman, who just lost his mother a few days ago, was more concerned about his next meal than actually processing that his mother is no more.

Through this short film, we see how easy it is to get invested and lost in one’s bubble. It makes one stubborn and obsessed to not accept any change. It hinder’s a person’s growth as well. Suman kept to himself, did not bother socialising and was only concerned about his meals than anything else. The meals were just a huge symbolic representation of Suman’s current life status.

Mona is a foil to Suman. Mona is grounded but at the same time quite free from things that would weigh her down. She is someone who guides her own path rather than letting any outside force forge one. Despite Mona and Suman sharing a good bond and a fun camaraderie, the two are shades apart.

While Mona knows how to deal with the curveballs in life, Suman is still stuck in one place. It took Mona’s clear lens at life approach for Suman to see what he was missing in real life.

The title of the short film, “MAI”, means mother. The sudden passing away of Suman’s mum turned out to be the pivotal nudge that Suman needed to go ahead in his life. His mother and he had a life for themselves, as secluded as it was. Neither were moving ahead, but were just marching around in circles.

His mother’s death also signalled the end of the circular cycle. Through her death, she was free from this life that was a hindrance to her and to Suman. 

If you feel you are stuck in life, it is often a good approach to have an outsider’s purview. Voluntary isolation and seclusion from friends, family or even social activities for that matter, can cause a hindrance for one to truly grow in life. It is easy to get into that bubble for it makes you feel secure but actually does more harm than good.

Like one’s body need food to nourish itself, one’s mind needs a healthy communication and healthy lifestyle to truly sustain and nourish itself. 


TheReviewGeek spoke to the cast of MAI prior to the film’s release at the JIO MAMI Festival. Read our interview here!

Feel free to check out more of our movie reviews here!

  • Verdict - 8.5/10

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