Secret Superstar: Patchy underdog movie riding on Aamir's fame

There have been numerous films on a protagonist going against the tide to fulfil his ambition and childhood dream. Usually, in films, such aspirants come from second rung cities, small towns or mofussil India. That adds to the sympathy or the underdog quotient as the script’s requirement.

Just about every actor would have played at least one if not more such roles of an underdog hitting the pinnacle of success. Be it in the field of entertainment, industry or underworld. In fact, there have been some films made on real life heroes too who made it big from humble beginnings; some acknowledged some unofficial. The prominent among these include films on Neerja, MS Dhoni, Dhirubhai Ambani, Sachin Tendulkar, Milkha Singh, Silk Smitha, Capt Nanavati, Azharuddin, Phoolan Devi, Phogat sisters, Mary Kom and just about every pre-independence political leader and freedom fighter.

But, unless dramatised, these biopics don’t work. Compare with, for example, M S Dhoni: The Untold Story and Sachin: A Billion Dreams. While Dhoni worked with the viewers, Sachin was rejected. The reason was that Dhoni was scripted to appeal while Sachin went on the lines of a documentary.

Secret Superstar is not a biopic but goes on the same lines of one and one wishes it had taken cue from films like Dhoni or Mary Kom where fighting the odds includes a lot of hurdles and not just one impractical father’s illogical angry outbursts.

Secret Superstar is the story of a teenaged Vadodara girl from a Muslim family though the film makes no reference to her community throughout the film. The character of Zaira goes to a co-ed school, which the makers don’t care if it comes across as English, Gujarati or Hindi medium.

Zaira aspires to be a singer. Her mother, a supressed wife, had bought her a guitar when she was six. Zaira strums on the guitar when her father, played by Raj Arjun, is not around for he lives with the ghosts of Aurangzeb. Zaira can go to a co-ed school, mingle with boys, burkha is never forced on women of the house, it is just that she can’t cultivate her hobby.

Since Raj Arjun works in Saudi Arabia, to the relief of Zaira and her mother, played Meher Vij, he is away 11 months a year and they can live normal lives. Zaira has to give an outlet to her talent without letting her father know about her exploits. Meher Vij, always by her side, sells an ornament to buy Zaira a laptop.

Secret Superstar is also a teenage love story on the side. He classmate, played by Tirth Sharma, loves her and is always ready to go out of his way to help her. Zaira’s journey starts with Meher Vij and Tirth by her side. She decides to sing and post her videos on Youtube hidden behind a burkha hoping for her songs to work and be noticed. Her identity on Youtube is Secret Superstar.

Youtube plays one of the characters in this film as it may have been a part of many others stories too since its inception in 2006. Zaira is an overnight sensation on the social media and is also praised by film stars and others but, mainly, by a cranky music director played by Aamir Khan.

Zaira, the social media sensation, and Aamir Khan, on the last lap of his creativity, join forces and Aamir manages to create a new singing superstar out of Zaira in the process reviving his own career.

Secret Superstar has a predictable story that has been turned and twisted at whim. Glitches are left to pass throughout. The producer’s reputation for minor details is missing here. The first half is designed to be negative where one man is cast out of a 1960 family social film in Raj Arjun.

With fair dialogue, average production values, the film has decent cinematography. For the kind of theme and script the film handles, its 150-minute duration is telling on the viewer. For a musical about launching a new singing talent, the film’s musical score is lacking.

While Zaira carries the film on her shoulders, she is well supported by Vij and Sharma. Arjun is effectively terrorising. Aamir has made a caricature out of the music composer that he plays wearing gaudy T shirts tucked in jeans, the kind of costume tapori hero used to wear in 1970s films to cater to the what was described as ‘frontbenchers’. His execution of the role borders on buffoonery.

Secret Superstar comes across as a patchy film riding on the name of Aamir but hoping for the Diwali weekend to salvage it.

Producers: Aamir Khan, Kiran Rao.

Director: Advait Chandan.

Cast: Aamir Khan, Zaira Wasim, Meher Vij, Tirth Sharma, Raj Arjun, Kabir Sajid.

Latest Reads
Oddball Motion Pictures gets Rs 250 cr for film production

MUMBAI: Oddball Motion Pictures, founded by filmmaker Nitin Upadhyaya, announced its association with Chanda Group where the latter will be funding a seed capital of up to Rs 250 crore for the feature films and original digital video content that will be exclusively developed and produced by...

Movies Movies On Mutiple Platforms
Cast & crew of 21 sarfarosh: saragarhi 1897 celebrate army day with the 7th Battalion of sikh regiment of the indian army

The cast & crew of 21 Sarfarosh: Saragarhi 1897 commemorated the Army day with the Soldiers of Sikh regiment of Indian army. Actors Mohit Raina & Mukul Dev personally took the soldiers of the Sikh regiment on the tour of the set in Aamgaon where the epic battle of Saragarhi is currently...

Movies Hindi
Watch the world television premier of "Nirahua Hindustani"on 30th december at 1 PM only on Dabangg

SABGROUP’S foremost regional channel – Dabangg is geared for the World Television Premier of the highest revenue grossing Bhojpuri Blockbuster of all times, ‘Nirahua Hindustani’. The telecast will air on the 30th December,2017 at 1pm, followed by the repeat at 8pm.

Movies Hindi
BookMyShow reveals how India entertained itself in 2017

As the year comes to a close, BookMyShow looks back at what entertained India this year, from movies to plays, sports, events and music. In 2017, millions of Indians reached out to BookMyShow to meet their entertainment demands basis which the platform is delighted to present #Bestof2017*.

Movies Hindi
Catch Bollywood Actor Irrfan Khan this Week on Off Centre

MUMBAI: This week on Off Centre, Anuradha Sengupta talks to one of the finest Bollywood actors in the industry, Irrfan Khan. From being noticed and welcomed as a romantic lead after 22 years in business to his latest release and love, sex, romance in today’s time, he expresses his views and...

Movies Hindi
Zee Studios International's Secret Superstar hits it big in Taiwan

Zee Studios International has collected $700,681 from its release of Aamir Khan-starrer Secret Superstar in Taiwan, making the movie the widest Bollywood film in the country. The film, which also features Zaira Wasim, lit up the box office in India. The distribution company began the next phase of...

Movies Hindi
Zee Studio to premiere the post-apocalyptic horror drama - MAGGIE!

Zee Studio, the hollywood movie destination, brings the Indian television premiere of Maggie. Starring multi-award winner Arnold Schwarzenegger and Academy Award-nominee, Abigail Breslin, this post-apocalyptic drama premieres on 10 December 2017, Sunday at 12 noon and 9 pm.

Movies Hollywood
Demonetisation, decline in govt ads impact UFO Q2 numbers

BENGALURU: Indian digital cinema distribution network and in-cinema advertising platform UFO Moviez Ltd (UFO) reported a 12.8 percent year-on-year (y-o-y) decline in consolidated operating revenue for the quarter ended 30 September 2017 (Q2 FY 2017-18) as compared with the corresponding year ago...

Movies Movies On Mutiple Platforms
The modern day economics of film financing

Only 2 per cent of the total movies released in 2016 in the US were computer graphic (CG) animation, yet they grossed more than 21 per cent of the US box office collection. Strong animation brands have longer shelf-life and generate revenue for years.

Movies International

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories