A film with as little buzz as W – Women of Today hardly seemed like it would make waves or even be worth watching. However, within the first 15 minutes of the movie, it’s apparent that W isn’t your regular Bollywood masala.
W follows three friends: Sandhya “Sandy” Singh (Leeza Mangaldas), Roohi Malik (Lezlie Tripathy) and Manu (Sonal Giani). The three young women, who run an event management company called ‘W’, are preparing for their biggest event yet – The Freedom Concert. However, during the preparation, they cross paths with three rapists and things go terribly wrong. The movie chronicles their captivity, torture and their attempt to avenge themselves.
Unlike most Hindi films, W is unabashed in its display of graphic scenes. It gives viewers a shockingly unpleasant view of what sexual abuse victims go through. From this, it naturally follows that this isn’t a film for everyone. Though most of these scenes are slightly “in-your-face”, maybe that’s what’s required to get the message across. W also deals with a variety of topics, including victim-blaming, LGBT representation and political power-play. Though these topics have been touched upon before, Hindi cinema has seldom been so realistic and unapologetic in their depiction.
The performances in the movie are also pleasantly surprising. Though they can be inconsistent at times, most of the performances are still notable. Raaj Singh Arora, Danish Pandor and Abhay Attri are especially good in their portrayal of the loathsome, entitled sons of a minister. The three leading ladies also give realistic and touching performances. Lezlie Tripathy, in particular, establishes herself as an actress worth watching out for.
However, W still has its flaws. The movie is just a little too long, and you’re made to wonder if it would have benefited from some more editing. In fact, the scenes of the rape and torture last a little too long to remain efficient. Another weak point of the movie is the music. Though the songs are undeniably good, they don’t necessarily fit into the film very well. On the other hand, the background score is the highlight of the film. It enhances the visuals, without ever overpowering them.
As unbelievable as it seems, W also tries to incorporate some comic relief. Sadly, these scenes don’t work very well. In fact, they tend to take away from the seriousness of the film and almost seem redundant. They often feel like cheap tricks for appealing to a larger audience and lightening the mood, something the movie doesn’t need.
Though W is not the best movie ever made, it’s still a refreshing change for Hindi cinema. This is especially wonderful, right on the heels of Queen, another woman-centric movie. Even though both films are nothing alike, they do have one very important thing in common – They’re unafraid to tackle relevant, yet untouched topics. With films like these making their way to the silver screen, it might just be a good time for women in Hindi cinema.
Why should you watch this film?
While W is not for everyone, it’s certainly a film worth watching. This movie is a must-watch, especially for people yearning for something other than a typical rom-com. Though it is far from perfect, W is certainly a step in the right direction for Hindi cinema.