Sunday, December 6, 2015

Movie Review: Angry Indian Goddesses

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The Story Frame:

Angry Indian Goddesses depicts the plight of women in a male dominant society where they are either seen as commodities or are expected to be subservient. The plot hovers around seven women who come together in Goa on the invite by their college friend for reasons not known to them till they reach and meet her. The story's women characters come from different walks of life and has their own individual ups and downs in life to share, through which the film catch momentum. An unwanted incident rocks the boat of all these beautiful girls' life.

Pan Nalin's film has a compelling message and it brings us face to face with the reality of our society and makes us reflect to think what kind of bonding and relationship do we want as Adam and Eve in our Eden. Pan Nalin's movie is considered as the first all-out female buddy movie and it is also his debut in mainstream Hindi Cinema.

Cast: Sarah-Jane Dias (Frieda), Tannistha Chatterjee (Nargis), Anushka MAnchnada (Mad aka Madhurita), Sandhya Mridul (Suranjana), Amrit Maghera (Joanna), Arjun MAthur (Zain), Rajshri Despande (Lakshmi), Pavleen Gujral (Pammi), Adil Hussain (Police Superintendent
Genre: Drama

Direction: Pan Nalin

Produced by: Gaurav Dhingra

Written by: Arsal Qureishi

Story by: Pan Nalin

Cinematographer: Swapnil Suhas Sonawane

Music by: Cyril Morin

Film Editing by: Shreyas Beltangdy

Presented by: Protien Entertainment

Production Company: Jungle Book Entertainment

Theatre Release: 4th December, 2015

Language: Hindi

Duration: 115 minutes

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 Reviewer's Thumb Mark

Pan Nalin's Angry Indian Goddesses is a movie that makes the society to relook the way it treats and view women in their life and around them. It is also a wakeup call for women in general to reflect what and how they want to liberate themselves from the misogynistic oppressions and restrictions. To depict the lives, aspirations and dilemmas of women Pan Nalin gathers seven women from different walks of life to give the audience a bird's eye view of why the Indian Goddesses have a right to be angry. The Angry Indian Goddesses in the movie are Frieda (Sarah Jane-Dias), an ace photographer who is known for her job; Suranjana (Sandhya Mridul) a corporate honcho who is always on her toes and phone to get things straight and is struggling hard to balance her personal and professional life commitments; Pammi (Pavleen Gujral), a Delhi homemaker and a gold medalist in studies who is dictated and nipped by her hubby for her entrepreneurial aspirations; Mad (Anushka Manchanda), a rocker who is insanely depressed because of her spiraling career; Joanna (Amrit Maghera), a half-Brit Indian aspiring actress who is in hope for a big break in the tinsel town; Laxmi (Rajshree Despande), Frieda's all-rounder maid, who has her own family issues that doesn't seem to resolve; and finally Nargis (Tannistha Chatterjee) the firebrand activist who is a potential threat for corporate land grabbers like Suranjana who are blindly ambitious and task oriented. To add to the fun and frolic there is Maya, the six-year old lonesome daughter of Suranjana.

The movie begins with a series of introductory scenes for its lead actors to depict their varied backgrounds and then focuses on all of them reaching to Goa on the invite they receive from their college best friend Frieda.

The film portrays the camaraderie amongst the girls and their squabbles on various matters of life very well. The reason behind the invite for all the friends except the host, her maid and the activist is not known. They only come to know it later that Frieda is going to tie the knot with her beloved and who is the lucky one is under wraps.  The bunch of girls in Angry Indian women are full of fun, uninhibited, open to the world and like to explore life. But they all carry a deep wound in their heart which is slowly unveiled at various phases of the story and it takes momentum that culminates into an incident that justifies why Kali the angry goddess becomes so relevant to the story telling.

Pan Nalin seems to package too many issues into Angry Indian Goddesses like gender discrimination, rape, eve-teasing, homosexuality, land grabbing by corporate, section 377 and that's where the film run out of steam. It appears that the filmmaker feels that this is the only last opportunity left to talk about all these issues and therefore, fill it to the brim and push it down the throat of the viewers.   

Having said this, the film is good to watch because of the message Pan Nalin wants to convey through his beautiful ladies and their life on screen. The song 'Pal mai samjthi hi, pal mai badalthi hi tu ... Zindagi" is too good and hummable. Adil Hussain as the Superintendent of Police is there for a brief period but is able to evoke the right kind of hatred to his creed that believe a woman who drinks, smokes, moves around alone or in groups having fun, dress as per her choice is the reason for atrocities against her.

The climax of the movie is flawed especially the church scene, where people stand in solidarity to these women without even knowing what has actually transpired between the Police officer and the women in question. May be Pan Nalin wanted to portray a symbolic gesture of solidarity to the cause he has voiced through his film but I feel it doesn't come out well when it is seen logically and sequentially with the happenings in the film.

With all its areas of improvement, ultimately Angry Indian Goddesses definitely deserves a onetime watch for its message. So go to your nearby theatre and watch the Indian Goddesses getting angry while you munch over a pack of flavored popcorn with your friends and family.

Life Connoisseur Movie Rating: 2.75/5