How wrong can you go with a movie starring two veteran actresses as bitter rivals whose children are in love with each other? As Jai Mummy Di proves, very.
The title is misleading. Navjot Gulati’s directorial debut isn’t about the maters at all but about the familias. Puneet (Sunny Singh) and Saanjh (Sonalli Seygall) are neighbours and have been attracted to one another forever. However, Puneet’s mother Laali (Supriya Pathak) is locked in a never-ending battle with Saanjh’s mother Pinky (Poonam Dhillon). Why do Laali and Pinky reach for each other’s throats as regularly as the sun rises in the east? The answer is staggeringly banal in a movie with several female characters but not a single one with depth or common sense.
It’s not like the men are LED-level bright either. Saanjh proposes to Puneet and instead of leaping at the offer, he looks thoughtful and says that he doesn’t want to marry just yet – besides, their mummies would never allow it.
Whatever happened to the brave Hindi film lovers of yore, the ones who would carve notches into their arms with blades, mope all day long, and elope if they were not allowed to marry? Saanjh decides to get hitched to the first man her parents line up. Not to be outdone, Laali arranges Puneet’s marriage too.
The spineless and unimaginative leads are matched by the one-note matriarchs, who are never allowed to be anything more than face-pulling shrews. It might have worked somewhat if it were funny, but the humour in Navjot Gulati’s screenplay is scant and scattershot. the Delhi setting, caricatured Punjabi characters, background music as loud as the dialogue delivery, uneven pacing, and endless parade of songs make the relatively crisp 105-minute run-time seem longer than it is. Why did Pinky and Laali fall out, Saanjh wonders. I don’t care, her father replies. We don’t either.