J Baby (2024)  weaves the tale of five grown-up kids and their roller-coaster ride of looking after their sweet yet unpredictable mom. Imagine this: the mom, played by the unmatched Urvashi, ends up lost in Calcutta. This kicks off a wild chase by two of her sons, brought to life by Dinesh and Lollu Sabha Maaran, to bring her home. It presents a true life story with a lot of heart and the tests of family love over miles and time. The movie starts off on a slow note, feeling more like a documentary without much to laugh or get hooked on. But, hold on, because the second half shifts gears into an emotional journey. It dives into a touching backstory and scenes that will likely make you reach for a tissue or two. It’s a bit of a mixed bag, though. If only the whole movie had the same energy and depth from start to finish, it could have been something special. As it stands, directed by Suresh Mari, it lands a “Raw” on our Mangoidiots scale.

What shines through, aside from the story, are the performances. Urvashi is as brilliant as ever, and Attakathi Dinesh shows off his acting chops. But it’s Maaran who steals the show with a surprisingly strong performance, especially in his sleep-talking scenes that are just spot on. The film also earns points for not making fun of the inhabitants of mental health hospitals and for its honest look at the life of working-class families in India. So, if you’re in the mood for a movie with a strong motherly love theme, keep an eye out for J Baby on streaming platforms.

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