Secret Superstar (2017)
Aamir Khan does it again. He embraces a sleazy personality in a small role and lets young Zaira Wasim shine. Like Dangal, he takes a back step and lets the story be the hero, something other A-list stars should consider as well.
The film addresses many stereotypes and pokes various elements of the glamour and film industry. Debut director Advait Chandan doesn’t waste time with trivial details and gets to the core, very quickly.
The plot is designed to make you uncomfortable and tense, much like wringing a wet cloth. The casting is brilliant, Raj Arjun as the father, Meher Vij as the mother and Farrukh Jaffer as the Grand mother, being pivotal with their actions and inactions, their silence and their words. Little brother Kabir Sajid is adorable and friend Tirth Sharma is endearing.
Zaira has enacted a role many older actresses would find challenging. She balances projecting her own circumstances and being compassionate with ease. It is a heart warming tale, with a message baked right into the title, and not as straightforward as you would expect.
Aamir Khan shows a sensitivity with children and stories which gets better with every film. This film walks the right rope between gut wrenching and liberating with panache. Watch for the superlative performances and simple story.