The title is a fallen-into-disuse Hindi phrase. Nil means zero. Bata/ Battey is a word for division. And sannata is, of course, silence. Or shoonya.
Chanda (effortlessly good Swara Bhaskar) is a single parent in Agra on a single-minded mission: to ensure that her daughter gets the education that will help her reach the heights that she couldn’t. She toils, doing three jobs in a day, to ensure that Appu aka Apeksha (Riya Shukla) has a better life.
But Appu (the A grade newcomer Riya Shukla) in the crucial tenth standard is more focussed on fooling around with her backbencher friends and idolising Ranbir Kapoor than overcoming her weakness: maths. Soon the sole source of joy in Chanda’s life becomes a constant source of worry.
Nil Battey Sannata is a contemporary documentary based movie on the life of a mother who works as a house servant, washing dishes and clothes. The film’s storyline is straightforward and simple. It reveals a significant part of the film but not much.
The hardships faced by the Mother to give her daughter a different life, breaking the stereotypes is a big question to her. She has hopes but lacks the confidence, So that her daughter.
The first half of Nil Battey Sannata is not much impressive and seen in the alike minded movies released during the past decade. Ratna Pathak Shah works like an inspiration for her; she guides her towards the life true meaning by giving her an opportunity to study.
The second half is more emotional exposing the sad reality of the mentality among a various class of people. The movie could win series of awards for the reunion of Mother and Daughter at the end.
Nil Battey Sannata is going to be loved by the low and medium wage earning class of the metro cities who have big dreams.
‘Watched #NilBatteySannata. Simplistic plot. Winsome content. Explores the mother-daughter relationship and carries a strong message. Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari is a proficient storyteller. Captures emotions remarkably. Brilliant climax. Super performances.
Rating 4/5. Review by Koimoi
Nil Battey Sannata is a beautiful film surrounding a mother-daughter relationship. For being not too preachy, nostalgic for all parents as well as kids and emotionally riveting.
Review by Hindustan Times
Ashwini Iyer Tiwari’s debut feature, Nil Battey is a powerful and honest work, completely shorn of the kind of pretension one sees in a large number of Bollywood movies.
It is not just a touching story of a mother and her daughter but also a great chapter on the importance of education. It tells us that a parent’s limitations need not stop his/her child too.