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'Angry Indian Goddesses' review: Of women and their wars!

'Angry Indian Goddesses' review: Of women and their wars!

Source: General

By: Sonia Chopra

Critic's Rating: 3/5

Monday 07 December 2015

Movie Title

'Angry Indian Goddesses' review: Of women and their wars!

Director

Pan Nalin

Star Cast

Rajshri Deshpande, Tannishtha Chatterjee, Anuj Choudhry

The film begins with each of our characters, angry. One is angry for work issues,another for being ogled at, yet another (an actress) being objectified by the director, andso on. We then proceed to get to know these seven remarkable ladies.

This is one of those films, you wish sustains its promising first half right through the end.Unfortunately, the film suffers from the curse of the second half. And it also suffers fromthe curse of the cliche overload-notably, references to Indian goddesses, a sexualassault, rape statistics in India, and a melodramatic finale.

But let's talk about the good things first. We meet Freida (Sarah Jane Dias) who invitessome of her closest friends to her beautiful Goa home. We meet the girl gang one byone. Pam (Pavleen Gujral) is the saree-wearing ("Ravi loves it, so why not") Delhihousewife. There's Suranjana (Sandhya Mridul) the corporate boss, always over thephone, ignoring the six-year-old tot accompanying her. Nargis (Tannistha Chatterjee) isan activist who is at loggerheads with Suranjana's company. Anushka Manchanda playsMadhureeta, a musician whose career is nose-diving. Aspiring Bollywood actressJoanne, often teased for her Brit accent, is played by Amrit Maghera. She struggles withboth her accent, and acting in films like 'Lollipop Ki Lagan', waiting for her big break.

The girls meet and greet, drink and dance, and we enjoy getting to know each of them. There are some wonderful identifiable moments. There's the fun stuff like the girlsbarging into the men's loo, and having drunken conversations that spill out theirinnermost thoughts. Then, we all know of the bright student in college who surprisedeveryone by giving it all up to be married to a rather mediocre guy. It's amazing howPam's character insists she "gave in", while her friends insist she "gave up". The scenewhere a character "comes out" is simply marvelous. .

The incredible cast, across the board, gives us authentic, layered performances. Thesongs add to the subtle drama. The moving camera reflects the energy andrestlessness of the characters.

However, several of the film's conflicts find all-too-easy solutions that are far fromconvincing. The film, that keeps it real yet breezy for the most part, takes a somber turntowards the finale. The film's end turns out to be its biggest undoing. One understandsthe idea was that the women get in touch with the angry goddess inside (Goddess Kali),but it just doesn't add up convincingly.

Writer-director Pan Nalin succeeds in keeping us invested in each of the characters. Weidentify with, adore, and cheer them on. He brings in other flourishes like the spunky,old house-help who you simply fall for, and the younger one called Lakshmi whobecomes one of the gang.

However, in the midst of bringing us such moments of girl-bonding and sisterhood, hebrings in several grave and pertinent issues. In one of the scenes, a character says thatbeing a woman in India, is like being a warrior. That's not far off; however, must wealways be so dismal?

In the end, you wonder, why a film about girl-bonding can't remain just that? Minus theheavy, over-dramatic finale, this one's a wonderful watch!

Rating: 3 stars

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