Gippi: Film Review

Review: Meet Gurpreet, your regular bubbly 14-year-old school-going girl. She’s no child prodigy, doesn’t possess magical powers nor is she a princess in waiting. She’s as average as can be, chubby, has long frizzy hair, is still coming to terms with hitting puberty, has temper tantrums, is accident-prone and loves dancing to old Shammi Kapoor numbers. Yeah, she’s lovingly called Gippi!

But all’s not well in Gippi’s world, she comes from a broken home and is struggling to bravely accept her father’s engagement. She also has a failed romance with an older guy and one fine day in a drunken state at a party dares to contest the Student Elections against the most popular girl, Shamira (Jayati Modi). For someone who isn’t academically inclined and has no particluar interest in leading others, how does she plan to manage?
Take a bow the makers of Gippi for attempting to make a mainstream, feel good film that plasters you with a smile and in more ways than not, makes your day! High time a film was made on a girl suffering the pangs of being a teenager, something that teenagers can identify with and feel, "Yayy! I’m not alone". Gippi is for all those adolescents who will not catch an art film like Udaan, and also for those who felt they could barely relate to a film so ‘reel’ as Student Of The Year!
Like its counterpart, Gippi also features Student Elections as a crucial turning point in its plot. I suppose Student Elections in a teenybopper film gives the writer sufficient amount of scope to play around with the varied characters but is also an easy way out if you ask me. Gippi is also a little too cheesy, has an overdose of the word ‘reproduction’, its characters seem larger than life, is predictable and there are times when you’re bored to death but thankfully, the film takes you down memory lane and will generate laughs. Yes, the word is feel-good.
Gippi’s family makes you feel like you’re turning the pages of a fairytale, its too good to be true. Especially, the bond between Gippi and her brother, Booboo (Arbaaz Kadwani). Divya Dutta is a single mother whose husband is getting remarried to some blonde damsel. While she’s acted tremendously well, her character is disappointing. She plays the role of a divorcee who still harbours feelings for a man who agreed to divorce her because she wasn’t stylish enough to be his wife! For a positive film like this, its even disappointing to hear Taaha Shah’s disdain for women who don’t smoke while our brooding hero happily smokes away. (Taaha Shah plays Arjun, the older guy Gippi likes). It’ worrysome to think of what example mainstream films catering to a target audience with such impressionable minds are setting.
I have nothing against feel-good films and think they’re vital to remind everybody how the winner could very well be flawed but it’s little details like these that matter. For instance, Divya Dutta could be shown as a stronger character who realizes her worth, learns to move on, not live in the past and more so think she too has a chance at a second love. But then films mirror society which is what this Gippi did.
Gippi is the perfect example of what happens when the larger picture is wonderful but not much thought has gone into the little details like the film’s screenplay for instance which leaves you guessing the climax far before time. Gippi just like all Dharma production films has been shot well and is set in Shimla which makes the film a delight to watch. The background score too is charming and the song, `We are Like This Only` is on its way to becoming a mantra for the youth. It’s ensemble cast is brilliant, it’s a different story that some characters have been painted a tad-bit too dramatically but their acting makes up for it. Special mention for Doorva Tripathi who’s adorable as Aanchal, Mrinal Chawla (who essays the role of Kabir) especially for his much needed lecture to Gippi during the second half and Divya Dutta. Riya Vij needless to say, has created history with her pathbreaking performance.
There will be times when you find yourself thinking how over-the-top certain sequences were, but in retrospect, Gippi still emerges a winner and I’ll urge all you parents to take your teenager for this flick – It’s vital for their self-esteem!
Kanika Rajani

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