Secret Superstar is like the rays of light in this ‘growing dark’ world of cinema. It does it all at once. Defines cinema in the true sense, leaves a positive impact on society and leaves it viewer entertained to the core. This film proves no matter how the time and its demands change, the story remains the soul of any film. Keeping the audience’s excitement high throughout, however, Secret Superstar is not a kind that is placed in the archive of realistic movies because a balanced quantity of filmy content is adulterated in it.
Secret Superstar is brilliant in its cliches. About the banalities, you name any and it is there in the film. Still, you won’t rise from your seat to blame it. A youngster filled with unique talent, unusual for her age, thrives to get a space to be herself that she is from inside. But unfortunately, let alone a platform to showcase her distinct talent, she is shackled too tightly with the oppressive patriarchal chains inside her own house to even practice basic rights. Rights that are not defined in the book of the constitution but are defined from the moment a life is born. Fighting all the odds, she steals opportunities and gets a secret platform to exude her passion that doesn’t stop boiling inside her. Further on the path, she is spotted by a superstar with a similar story who had to give in his original spirit and adapt according to the time and mold his passion to make it marketable. Emotional ups and downs follow and after some bumpy points, at last things fall in place as were expected. The secret superstar gets the recognition she always wished and when a massive audience is looking up to her, she gives all the credit of her success to her mother.
In-between the cliches, it is the tiny but intelligent details that make it all very special. There are short duration scenes with big details that are injected here and there with utmost alertness and flawlessness. Insiya, the ‘star’ of Secret Superstar has to break the instrument that focuses all her hoped multiple times. She has to throw the laptop that made her the secret superstar and is worth her Ammi’s last golden necklace out of the window with an undefined agony and pain. She has to use the pamphlet that could become the reason of converting her dreams into reality for wiping the food on the floor smacked by her father.
The Secret Superstar has the volume throughout despite being a rather long film. It sets the right beginning and doesn’t bring down the excitement until the end and also gives an emotional turbulence resulting in teary eyes. Despite being centered on one person, it gives an equal chance to almost all its characters. Insiya’s mother is not given less if not equal importance. Meher Vij has excelled in her role that has an equally significant weight as Zaira herself. There is also an innocent love angle that is a bright and delightful element and again distributes the screen attention uniformly.
Whether the society learns or not, movies like Secret Superstar must come for both to leave a social impact and balance the quality of cinema.