Bewitching! Another gem pares out from the enthralling and artistic Aamir Khan Productions. Secret Superstar is a spellbinding tear-jerker of a drama that shouldn’t be missed for the world. It is a movie about a dreamer who dreams for the stars draped under a burkha of fetters. It is a flick about hope and despair that constantly resonates between the two. The good news is that it is outstandingly done.

The story of Secret Superstar deals with a girl and her mother trying to beat the monstrosity of societal arrest. It’s a revolt for those who have been giving up on their dreams owing to “hard to beat” circumstances. At the same time, it speaks of hope in a tone that’s definitely going to leave you with goosebumps. The movie packs messages aplenty. It addresses countless issues in its wake and leaves you immensely satisfied.

The Theme of Secret Superstar Movie

Words fail me as I try to put this movie into words. It feels personal on so many levels that it’s hard to explain how.

still of Secret Superstar Insia dreaming

The fact that Secret Superstar isn’t just limited to one theme makes it outright exceptional. There are so many issues lingering in the movie and it addresses all of them magnificently. Right from the issue of domestic violence to saving a girl child, to the issues people face nay…Indians face trying to live their dreams. It acknowledges them and portrays them in a way that racks your heart.

It is also educative when it shows you the wonders of the internet in a montage of frames. The fact that it shows the exact way of following your dreams through a simple medium like Youtube is something that is bound to open a lot of eyes. It is winning in every sense.

Since Secret Superstar revolves primarily around a singing dream, the inclusion of songs was inevitable. The gorgeous thing about the songs that were included in the flick is that their lyrics are so beautiful that they will tear you up. Complementing scenes from the movie, these songs help elevate the theme further. And it’s hard not to marvel at the creation and then of course, at the people who combinedly manufactured something so touching and impactful.

Zaira Wasim – The Secret Superstar

Such a lovely child Zaira Wasim is. The world saw her perform in Dangal last year which she aced like a true artist. Her role was limited and we couldn’t see much of her there. In Secret Superstar, being the protagonist, she gets a screentime she deserves, and boy does she deliver!

Zaira plays the character of Insia quite convincingly. She acts with a confidence many artists still struggle with.

Zaira Wasim in Secret Superstar movie

With time she is going to end up being a huge star, a bright future one can already foretell.

Dream dekhna to basic hota hai.

Her portrayal of Insia instantly becomes a relatable character. She feels forever connected, and that’s where her true strength lies. All those thoughtful things that she does for her mother, worrying about little things as if she is no longer a child are some of those things that force you to erupt at odd moments.

Meher Vij as Najma

To call Meher Vij cute would be an understatement. She literally becomes one of the songs “Meri Pyaari Ammi”.

You can hear it here:

In those fleeting frames of the song, you get the whole picture of how her portrayal of a mother was one of the most befitting portrayals that Indian Cinema has ever seen. She is flustered just the right amount, as pain literally writes itself on her face.

You can’t help but feel sorry for her character all the time. She literally epitomizes every mother in the country who chooses to suffer in silence until she doesn’t.

The Villainous Angle

Packing in arrogant perversion galore we have Raj Arjun who plays Insia’s father Farookh Malik. There is a certain aura about him that makes his sheer presence intimidating. That goes on to say nevertheless what a convincing actor he is.

still of Raj Arjun as Farookh Malik in Secret Superstar

He brings in those catastrophic elements that literally frame the story, making it clink glasses with reality.

Despite his extraordinary portrayal, you realize his true potential as a diabolical father often doesn’t make it all the way up there. Sometimes you feel the apparent lack of energy. Maybe it is the Anurag Kashyap in us that secretly wishes films to be depicted in their utter crude state.

That being said, Ronit Roy‘s portrayal of Bhairav Singh from Udaan comes to mind. The fear was more real and terrifying there or was it all amplified owing to Kashyap’s ravishing direction?

Getting into the Skin – Aamir Style

It’s amazing how Aamir Khan creates new personas out of scratch. He creates this fun character of Shakti Kumar that is not only hilarious and admirable, but also very deep. Shakti does things that people often frown upon, but the good thing is that he does it in a way that manifests that there is more to people than what shows.

still of Aamir Khan as Shakti Kumar in Secret Superstar

Talented children are like these bubbles. Nothing can stop them from going up.

Shakti Kumar is blunt in his ways, dismissive of people who do not play according to his books. But at the same time, he is a man with a golden heart. He plays that positive mentor, a guy who can actually make things happen, helping Insia wherever he could. In an emotional dramatic movie, he is that fizz of hope that brings smiles to faces even though he chooses to become a tad lewd.

Other Characters in Secret Superstar (Spoilers)

Another great perception comes from the eyes of a silent hero played by the child actor Kabir Shaikh. A child so innocent who once eavesdropped on a conversation about people leaving him behind. He does something so thoughtful that it melts your heart. The poor child who had been watching cruelty and misery upfront, sneaking behind a door, had so much heart in him that it brings tears to your eyes just looking at the colossal import of his intentions.

The movie has another beaming superstar Chintan played by Tirth Sharma, the once annoying brat who turns into a pleasant company. He insists on following the cliched adage:

Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.

The lad literally epitomizes the phrase through a fun catchy song as he witnesses the sweet nothings of his love. With an ease that’s hard to brace, he makes an inevitable break up, a fun final jovial joyride. While I know a generation that still scorns at scholastic love, I am so proud of the moviemakers who boldly defy them by showing such a cute exchange. It shatters conventions and opens eyes.

Direction of Secret Superstar

While budding directors choose to experiment with their frames and choose intense angles to mesmerize you, Advait Chandan chooses to stay with the basics. There is nothing subtle about him, as he picks areas that fail to tingle you.

His evident simplicity, or call it failure to incorporate visual stunners, end up staying under the wraps, owing to the excellent storyline of Secret Superstar. People fail to notice the contrivance in his frames, and cliched angles owing to the sheer fact that they become too busy “feeling” for the characters in the movie.

still of Zaira Wasim as Insia in Secret Superstar

The way the emotional angle comes into play right from the very first frame lets you get into the story immediately. Peerless performances by the cast elevate all the shortcomings that might have bothered some as the movie commences. Things sediment soon enough and then you are no longer worried about how theatricalized everything looks and feels.

Editing is a tad questionable too, since the movie ends up running for a whopping 2 hours 30 minutes. The fact that it doesn’t bother you is all thanks to its exceptional plot and that there is something poignant in every frame. You are too busy brooding and feeling that you overlook the minutiae that makes a film.

The Final Verdict

Secret Superstar insists on hope. That not everything is lost even when you give up. There are people who you influence too and they matter. If they take a stand, at the end of the day, something wondrous might happen.

The movie is sure to leave you in tears. I cried throughout the movie for the very fact that it connected so much on a personal level. There are tons of scenes that you can’t escape empathizing and when you do you become a sob story yourself.

The struggle is real. I know because I have my very own Youtube Channel “The Hidden Pea“. I could even feel the pain in the eyes of Insia when she was rooting for likes and comments. It was hard not to be on the same page even with her insane elation when the response became massive. It was like the universe was helping her out paving ways to hammer those dreams into fruition. Something that we should take from it and pursue our dreams.

At the end of it all, you can’t help but think about all those people who stop you from pursuing what you aspire to be, and layer you with their own ideas. To them I am just gonna say:

I am not your life. Don’t try to live me.

You can check out the trailer of Secret Superstar here: