Humdrum story, great performances.

[Rating: 2.7]
Director:  Anurag Kashyap
Writer: Anurag Kashyap, Kalki Koechlin
Cast & Crew: Kalki Koechlin , Naseruddin Shah, Prashant Prakash, Gulshan Devaiya
Plot Summary: A story of a girl’s ( Kalki Koechlin ) search for her father – a man she hardly knew but cannot forget. Desperation drives her to work without a permit, at a massage parlour. 
Mumbai becomes the alien but yet strangely familiar backdrop for Ruth`s quest. She struggles to find her independence and space even as she is sucked deeper into the labyrinthine politics of the city`s underbelly.  And everyone wants a piece of her.
Review: In true Kashyap style TGIYB (That Girl In Yellow Boots) too exposes the underbelly of the city that never sleeps. However, it is from a foreigner’s point of view. Most of it was possibly drawn from Koechlin’s personal experience, especially with her having co-written it.  This underbelly is largely composed of a rampant sex trade industry involving illegally imported “white” girls. It brings to screen a “sick” bunch of people we assume exist under the radar. 
So, as far as educating the people about the harsh realities of life, this city, existence etc. is concerned TGIYB is bang on. But how many people are part of this reality. The common man will conveniently steer clear and rightly so. Most of Anurag Kashyap’s films bring to light a very niche part of city life.  Unfortunately, even for that niche Kahsyap fan following, it’s not enough. One expects Kashyap films to be more gripping. 
The strength of the film however is power-packed performances by most of the cast. Kalki is fantastic as the vulnerable yet potentially strong ‘fhirang’ Ruth. Naseerudin Shah unfortunately is absolutely wasted; his character remains an unexplored, loose end. But Kashyap’s strength has always been his ability to create characters that are so real, they make you uncomfortable. The junkie Prashant (played beautifully by Prashant Prakash), the massage parlor owner and the Kannada thug ‘Chittappa’ (Kashyap has discovered a star in Gulshan Devaiya) are all supremely appealing and real as characters.
The great performances and a tight edit apart, it’s the story as a whole that fails to be captivating. One ends up feeling little or nothing for Ruth and her quest. 
So, on the upside, there is the spectacular cinematography and expose of Mumbai and impactful performances. On the downside, the movie lags is not the storytelling per say, but the story itself. It doesn’t strike a chord and falls just short of making an impact.  
Verdict: Not Anurag Kashyap’s best, but definitely worth a watch. 

Malvika Rao

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1 Comment

  1. Anamika C.

    September 28, 2011 at 4:44 pm

    Naseerudin Shah was definitely a waste in this movie. The movie ended with a disgusting story line, revealing Kalki’s father as nothing, but a desperate, psycho human being.

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