India Masala

Bollywood and culture in an emerging India

That Girl in Yellow Boots: Stark, unsettling cinema

September 1, 2011

Anurag Kashyap’s “That Girl in Yellow Boots” is an unsettling tale of a girl in search of the father who walked out on her as a child. Kashyap holds back very little in his narration of this tale, portraying Mumbai as a ruthless city that makes her search even more difficult than it should have been.

Kalki Koechlin plays Ruth, a British girl who comes to India hoping to find her father. She struggles in Mumbai, living as an illegal immigrant, working in a shady massage parlour, living in squalid conditions, driven only by her quest for a parent she yearns for.

While she searches, she also has a fling with a drug addict, makes tentative friendships at work and finds herself, more often than not, exploited for what she is — a young immigrant trying to make a living in an alien, chaotic city. She finds herself bribing passport agents and postmasters along the way — and the bribe is not always in cash.

Gulshan Devaiah plays Chittiappa, a small- time crook, who uses Ruth because her boyfriend owes him money. Naseeruddin Shah plays Diwakar, an amiable old man who genuinely looks out for Ruth while Pooja Swarup plays Maya, Ruth’s acid-tongued but kind-hearted colleague at the spa.

Kashyap builds up his characters in minimal time, giving us time to get to know them intimately as the film progresses. This is a no-holds barred film, and if you squirm in your seat a couple of times, think of it as a triumph for the film-maker.

Kalki Koechlin is excellent as Ruth, bringing the right amount of anguish and angst to her character, but it was Gulshan Devaiah who stole the show for me. He brought to life his character of a hardened criminal who still has a small-town boy living inside him.

This is not your regular Bollywood fare – and thank God for that. It is a film that is disturbing on many levels, but if you can handle some discomfort, I would recommend that you give this one a go.

Comments

ANURAAG, AFTER HIS MASTERPIECE, DEV D, HAS GIVEN THE DISCERNING FILM VIEWERS YET ANOTHER RAREST FILM. THE FILM GRAPHICALLY DEPICTS THE HARROWING LIFE OF SINGLE WORKING WOMEN IN URBAN INDIA. ONLY A DIRECTOR OF ANURAAG’S EMINENCE CAN TOUCH UPON A SUBJECT LIKE THE UGLIEST AND DEMONIC FACE OF SEX IN THE MOST APPROPRIATE CINEMATIC LANGUAGE. KALKI TAKES THE AUDIENCE DEEP INTO THE HEART AND SOUL OF THE CHARACTER SHE HAS PORTRAYED WITH HER STERLING PERFORMANCE. THE FILM LEAVES A EVERLASTING IMPACT ON THE VIEWERS MIND. PRODUCERS OF BOLLYWOOD, INSTEAD OF PROVDING THE USUAL SONG AND DANCE MOVIES, SHOULD ENCOURAGE ANURAAG TO DIRECT SUCH FILMS TO EXPOSE THE GROWING ROT AND FILTH IN THE SOCIETY. LET MORE SUCH SOCIALLY CORRECTIVE AND MEANINGFUL CINEMAS COME FROM THE MAVERICK DIRECTOR ANURAAG IN THE COMING YEARS——ASHOK KUMAR

Posted by ASHOK23 | Report as abusive
 

^ Dude, try turning off the caps lock key. In case you don’t know, it’s regarded as offensive and will generally make people ignore what you have to say.

Posted by sethiankit | Report as abusive
 

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