Secret Superstar (2017)
March 4, 2019 6:12 PM - Subscribe

Desperate to pursue her dreams but wary of drawing the wrath of her abusive father, 14 year-old Insia becomes a YouTube sensation as a singer while hiding her identity behind a burqa. The key to pursuing her dreams and helping her mother and brother escape may be the loutish, egomaniacal music producer/tv host Shakti Kumaarr (Aamir Khan.)
posted by DirtyOldTown (3 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
This is shamelessly sentimental and emotionally manipulative to the level of a Hallmark film. It's a two or two and a half stars kind of deal. It's corny as all hell.

But it turns out I would probably give 160 minutes to clips of Aamir Khan reading the Mumbai phone book. He's just so absurdly charming and likable.

Khan's performance and entire character here are a breath of fresh air. The irony is that Insia's deliverance comes via the sincere friendship and (mostly) sincerely unselfish friendship of a man who can be described as the creature you would get from animating a pile of Affliction t-shirts with the narcissism that would drip off of Simon Cowell after you doused him in a thousand gallons of Axe body spray.

Better still, Insia's mom Najma is given so much more care and regard than you would expect. The scene where she reacts to Insia's plan to save her not with relief, but with hurt that the one person who never disregarded her feelings/inout has done so on grand scale rang very true.

The movie ends up mostly justifying itself. It isn't great or even very good, but it's still fun watching Insia and her mom and AK being AK.

Dramatically speaking Insia and Najma do the heavy lifting. And this is, no bones about it, a story about a young woman and her mother. Khan is little more than a fun wrinkle in their story. But he's a really fun wrinkle. And I hope you'll excuse me for going on about him. I'm new to Bollywood stars and he's my 100% favorite.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 6:23 PM on March 4, 2019

Even though I've dropped out of watching new Bollywood movies, any and I mean, ANY, Aamir Khan movie I will happily watch, so yay! It helps tht he seems to me one of the very few top-line stars that's sincere about using his star power in making interesting and socially aware stories.
posted by cendawanita at 7:49 PM on March 4, 2019 [1 favorite]

This is on Netflix in the US in the original Hindi with English subtitles.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:27 AM on March 5, 2019

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