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'Calendar Girls' review: Dated and pointless!

'Calendar Girls' review: Dated and pointless!

Source: Sify

By: Sonia Chopra

Friday 25 September 2015

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Movie Title

Calendar Girls

Director

Madhur Bhandarkar

Star Cast

Kyra Dutt, Avani Modi, Atul Parchure, Akanksha Puri, Satarupa Pyne

We're introduced to our five main characters, all rookies, as they embark on their big break - featuring in an annual swimsuit calendar. So we have a Kolkata girl Paroma Ghosh (Satarupa Pyne), a Pakistani girl Nazneen Malik (Avani Modi), Hyderabad's Nandita Menon (Akanksha Puri), Goa's Sharon Pinto (Kyra Dutt) and Rohtak's Mayuri Chauhan (Ruhi Singh).

They've all had their own backstories and getting to this point hasn't been easy for them. Once the calendar is out, they're all enjoying success in their own way. For one, all the girls are now introduced thus: 'This is Paroma, Calendar Girl' as if everyone around is tuned into what a 'Calendar Girl' means!

Three months after the calendar is out, Paroma is well-known and in a relationship with an old flame from her hometown, Nazneen is on the verge of a big break, the straight-talking Sharon is juggling modeling assignments and creepy men in the business, Mayuri with her resourceful agent are raking in the money by appearing at funerals, while Nandita is considering a rather sudden marriage proposal by an wealthy businessman.

But things turn awry pretty soon. And the film nosedives along with the lives of these characters.

The dialogue is simplistic and constantly uncomfortable with the English language, which is strange, as the characters speak as much in English as in Hindi. Most characters speak the most obvious thing like someone remarking before the calendar launch, "Kal se hamaari zindagi badalne waali hai."

The film keeps referring to modeling and featuring in a swimsuit calendar as "bold kaam" and a "big achievement".

And it often botches up regular conversations to comedic effect. Like one character saying, "We must keep in touch", and the other replying, "You too." Or when a character is laughing, and the other one asks, "Why are you smiling?"

By and large, the actresses introduced in the film display a startling lack of charisma and screen presence. Kyra Dutt passes muster, also owing to the fact that she gets to play an interesting and unique character.

Otherwise the girls are made to wear the flimsiest of clothing, as the camera turns on the sleaze factor.

National-award winning director Madhur Bhandarkar makes a film about how these girls are exploited in the glamour world, while making sure his film exploits them as well. Talk about ironies.

He chooses to tell the film in the most dull and uncharismatic manner possible. All conversations are set to elevator music. Barely anyone is able to give a half-decent performance. And Bhandarkar himself pops on the screen, only to have a fan-girl gush about how great his films are!

Things end pretty badly for most of these girls, which makes you wonder what the film is trying to say. That you do a "bold kaam" like appearing on a swimsuit calendar and you'll be punished by the morality gods themselves? Or that the world makes sure things are tough for calendar girls?

Whatever the twisted point of view is, it's pretty bleak. And if you have such a pessimistic view of calendar girls, why make a film on them in the first place?

Rating: 1 star

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