KM Sarjun’s Tamil short film Maa, produced by Gautham Vasudev Menon (Ondraga Entertainment / Ondraga Originals), is a poignant tale that revolves around a mother-daughter relationship focusing on the sensitive topic of teenage pregnancy. Adolescent complications are issues that warrant a sensible handling of the subjects and KM Sarjun admirably handles the subject.
Maa (2018) Review (Short Film)
Ammu (Anikha) is a fifteen-year-old school girl discovers that she is pregnant and relays the message to her mother, Sathya (a terrific Kani Kusruti). The mother is disturbed at hearing this and expectedly shows her anger. But, in a patriarchal society which hunts down women who even step out marginally outside their ‘moral’ codes of conduct, she decides to protect her daughter’s honor from her own husband. An upright man with an archaic worldview, he works as an academician himself and calls for a parent-teacher meeting when he finds a boy and girl sitting together in class chatting.
Maa (2018) Short Film on YouTube
While Sathya is angry towards Ammu, she shows remorse for her unnatural behavior. Instead, she decides to understand her daughter who has grown into adulthood without her approval. To guard her daughter, she tries to ensure if the sex was alright and consensual. KM Sarjun’s writing on this is sensible. While the daughter and mother have an honest discussion on whether to abort the baby or not, he lets Sathya voice her thoughts out and as if to show that Ammu’s voice deserves to be heard, shows a scene to make sure that she has made up her decision on her own too.
Here is a short film that allows two women with a generation gap between them addressing issues of their body, accept and find ways to circumvent the issue of sex education admirably. Maa needs to be lauded for its intent and efforts. The two women, the young Anikha and Kani Kusruti get into the skins of their characters and shine. Sundaramurthy K S’s background score complements the short film effectively. This is a short film that deserves to be watched for its admirable grasp of teenage pregnancy and mother-daughter bond.