27 October 2017 | LeonardHaid
A Warm Embrace
On my walk home from the cinema, I thought about why I loved Secret Superstar so much despite it being a sometimes-absurd, cliché-heavy fantasy film imparting the dubious message that only if a female is a potential entertainment superstar does she have the chance to escape her sordid existence in the Indian Muslim world. It's obvious - there is so much to love about this film that made me cast aside any reservations I had about declaring it a masterpiece. The subjects of domestic abuse and the subjugation of women in Indian Muslim culture are dealt with adroitly, and they provide the perfect foundation and vortex for an extraordinary story to unfold. I loved the mingling of conventional Indian Muslim culture and Internet culture, and the mingling of provincial values and culture with the Mumbai lifestyle and attitude within the entertainment industry. Overall, I did not feel manipulated by this film nor did I feel bombarded by a Let-Us- Entertain-You vibe; behind the Bollywood blockbuster production guise I witnessed tremendous genuineness. The tears that I shed did not happen because the filmmakers are clever pushers of emotion buttons. I was genuinely touched. The joy that I experienced was more from being moved than from being entertained. It's simply a beautiful, glorious film.