Sunday, September 11, 2011

That Girl in Yellow Boots

Rating : 5/10
Release Date : 2nd September, 2011
Time : 109 minutes
Director & Co-Writer : Anurag Kashyap ; Co-writer : Kalki Koechlin; Music : Naren Chandavarkar
Starring : Kalki Koechlin, Prashant Prakash, Naseeruddin Shah, Gulshan Devaiah, Puja Sarup, Divya Jagdale

If it were not for the receptionist (Puja) and the Kannada villain with the heart of gold (Gulshan), this story of a gori girl from UK, coming to India to find her father, would’ve faltered. Its been told before. But not this way. She speaks Hindi quite fluently, works in Aaspaas Spa, has a seedy life, a junkie boyfriend, no photo of her father, just a name & a letter, has issues getting her visa renewed, has a run in with the gangster from Bangalore and earns money by making sure her massages have ‘happy endings’ for her clients.

While her story, her journey is interesting, told quite realistically, warts & all, its jerky, a bit slow in parts and maybe some of the characters came across as too weird (the boyfriend being a prime example), almost as if they’re put in there by the film-maker just to make a point.

It’s a side of life that’s rarely seen by most Indians, the kind of harassment faced by those with a fair skin, the clumsy visa renewal & police verification process, the lustful, lecherous looks given by every passerby. Its not to say there are no nice people. The gentle Naseer, with his blessings, is a breath of fresh air, but one that Kalki, too absorbed in her quest is unable to really appreciate.
Kalki shines in this role. Impassive for most parts, letting her eyes do the talking, apart from a few moments when she lets her anger rip. The stars of the show though, are the talkative receptionist – she talks non stop about every topic under the sun and also shows a softer side (seems to genuinely care about Kalki) plus a hard as nails part (zyada mat ghoorna, ankhein noch longi) when called for. Gulshan, as the sentimental, smiling villain is the piece de resistance. His attempts at switching off the TV. The respectful way he speaks to those around him. His smiling ‘we already know’ when Kalki informs him that her boyfriend isn’t there nor does she have cash. Simply brilliant.

It’s a perspective which is put forward. One that doesn’t necessarily make sense. Am not sure a middle class English girl would go through what Kalki goes through. And, separately, that by itself doesn’t make it watchable. Just because there are all sorts of loonies, kooks and perverts out there, doesn’t mean their story should be told


Monts said...

Agree wholeheartedly with the last statement "Just because there are all sorts of loonies, kooks and perverts out there, doesn’t mean their story should be told"

Ritu Nagpal said...

Agree with the above. Felt icky at the end.

RJ said...

Well, I disagree with the statement that stories of loonies, kooks and perverts out there should not be told. By that logic, you can't even make gangster/criminal movies.

I think it was a very interesting film. Well done, Mr. Kashyap.