Movie Review: Angry Indian Goddesses

December 4, 2015

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(Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters)

Pan Nalin’s “Angry Indian Goddesses” is a chick flick in denial – superficial and skin-deep as most other films, but fools itself into thinking that it is about woman power and women’s rights by throwing big words at the audience and framing shots in slow motion.

The film follows seven women who gather in Goa for a wedding. Frieda (Sarah-Jane Dias) is the bride, a feisty photographer who is the glue that holds the diverse group together. Her friends include Madhurita (Anushka Manchanda), a singer who is waiting for her big break, and Pam, (Pavleen Gujral) the prim and proper Delhi housewife who makes sure her hairdo isn’t spoilt while hugging a long-lost friend.

Nalin makes sure he ticks all the boxes and introduces every single cliche in a female buddy film. The cynical single mother who is always on edge, and the seemingly perfect woman stuck in a lifeless marriage – they are all part of the two-hour screenplay.

To his credit, Nalin also manages to capture some lovely moments between the women, especially in the beginning of the film. This is partly because of some refreshing acting by the leads, and thanks also to some lovely frames by cinematographer Swapnil Sonawane that capture Goa in all its glory.

“Angry Indian Goddesses” falters when it decides to pay lip service to all the issues it claims to champion. Its characters mouth platitudes about women’s freedom and the film makes statements like “rape is an epidemic in India”, which trivialise the issue rather than lending it any heft.

What does work for the film is that the leading ladies acted beautifully, and the bonhomie between them seems genuine. For what is being touted as ‘India’s first female buddy film’, that is a huge saving grace.

(Editing by David Lalmalsawma; follow Shilpa on Twitter @shilpajay, and David @davidlms25. This article is website-exclusive and cannot be reproduced without permission)

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