It is in this tender age that a person is eager to break free from the confines of the society and kiss the world. An age which brings about changes in us, a sense of revelation with an unsound mind, a fluttering heart and a forsaking gut! An age when the soul is ripe yet raw. An age when the soul has dreadful thoughts, when the heart surrenders to fad, succumbs to peer pressure, rides to breakthrough the prisons of innocence! An age which brings us closer to life and helps distinguish between the right and the wrong, an age which is a beginning to the crucial years of every individual’s life, the teens… Sixteen!
Raising the curtains of teenage life is the film Sixteen.
The film directed by debutante Raj Purohit is a story of four teenagers who submit to the call of glitterati, go with the flow and almost ruin their lives. It is a story about a rather delicate phase of life, a coming-of-age film which sheds light on most problems faced by teens. Be it suicidal thoughts, a heartbreak, losing one’s virginity, attraction for the glam world, the film shows all the aspects of the turbulent teenage life yet it lacks the teen essence (majorly because of the acting and the technicalities). It not only shows the mindset of the teens but also highlights the thought process of the parents. It is preachy and brings out the point that to make your child a responsible citizen, care should be taken that the child isn’t given too much of freedom and/or is pressurized too much.
Sixteen being the debut film for all the actors, their acting although looks amateurish, their efforts are still visible. A point to be noted here is that even after being the story of four teenagers; it sways a tad-bit much in favor of Tanisha (Wamiqa Gabbi) throughout the film. The character of Anu (Izabelle Leite) comes out as a girl who is too mature to be sixteen years old. As also the dubbing done for Izabelle neither matches the character nor has a proper lip-sync. Characters of writer Vikram Kapoor (Keith Sequeira) and of Nidhi (Mehak Manwani), being pivotal could have been more elaborated while Ashwin’s character (Highphill) could have been avoided or nurtured in a better way.
The film has been extensively shot in Delhi and explores the nooks and corners of this political center. However, there are some unnecessary excursions shown in the film just to bring out the Delhiite feel to the picture. The plot of the film is very good but the inapt execution messes it up. The storytelling is elusive and very predictable. Dialogues might be sappy but are an essential element to suit the plot. The use of flashback could have been done in a significant way as clubbing it with flash-forward somehow ruins the narration while making the climax dwindle. The scenes in the film, although not sleazy, are indeed bold and suggestive. Then there are voids in the film which are unnecessary and illogical (for instance the character, Ashwin, running on the street for the longest time looked like he could even break The Flying Sikh’s record!).
The music of the film is given by four musicians namely Prashant Pillai, Adam Avil, Eddie Avil and Gaurav Dagaonkar which explains why the music hasn’t turned out so well. Surely too many cooks spoil the broth! The songs are not worth-mentioning, are forced and are used so as to bring forth a new twist in the plot.
The storytelling which is clotty could have been concise and precise as dragging it to make it a 140-minutes long film, has taken away its sassy flavor. The film has a negative opening but ends on a positive note. However, there is nothing novel that the film tries to portray, same ‘ol teen troubles.