Angry Indian Godesses Movie Review

Saturday, December 5, 2015
Angry Indian Goddesses is such a break from the mundane films we are subjected to week on week. This one has the caliber to woo you over and in parts, it does until director Pan Nalin pushes his story towards a grim, cliched climax. Touted to be India's answer to Sex And The City, the film is about seven women and a bachelorette party in Goa. A fun premise right? The biggest problem with the film is that it is never sure of its tone. It shifts between dramatic to overdramatic to fun. A crucial tip that every Bollywood filmmaker must take from the West, is that you don't have to be boot-faced when dealing with such issues. Nalin still had a point, his title screams Angry!
Freida (Sarah Jane Dias) asks her girlies to come for bacherlorette to Goa. Our women characters are worth rooting for - be it the corporate b***ch Su or 'Katrina Kaif' type Joanna (Amrit Maghera). But even in its attempt to break away, the film never quite succeeds in letting go the misogyny so deeply ingrained in our systems. When Freida asks Su, to 'put on her black suit' and walk down the aisle, the first question that pops in your head is 'Why the black suit?' The shadow of a man to protect and care remains integral to our thinking. 

The montage with which the film starts is terrific. When Jo throws her silicon pads at the director who insists that fight-sequence in Hindi films is for the hero, the director makes you want to hoot. When Freida tears off the pay cheque, because her clients want a dusky actress to look fair, you feel thrilled. But right at the start, the director gives us a sense of the kind of clap-traps he has included in the film. The predictability is never a problem till the last scene, when it just looks highly over-the-top.
The actors, however, must be credited for bringing forth an effortless chemistry. Their friendship feels real, their banter relatable and you understand their woes. But, the screenplay never has its crescendos and when it does, it feels like doomsday. The writers never creates the right balance. It rather presses on every button of the feminist remote control - working parents woes (check), slut shamed (check), trapped in a loveless marriage (check)... There is almost no element left.
But their argument on gender equality cannot be grabbing men's place in society. The film tries to balance it out sometimes but there is a hell lot of male-bashing going on. The narrative takes a route that in the end warantees the same. But he never offers a solution. If violence for violence is the solution he proposes, it feels barbaric. 
AIG has its heart in the right place but is half-baked. Despite trying something unique, its cliches pull it down. It neither has a comment to make nor qualifies as pathbreaking cinema. It is a heartening effort that misses the point. 
We rate the film a 50% 

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