It is ironic how we are so used to happy endings in films such that for once a violent and ‘not so realistic’ ending has stirred a pool of questions. I say so, because as cliched as it may sound, ‘We must be the change that we wish to see’.
AIG aka the Angry Indian Goddesses is India’s first ‘female buddy film’ to have literally become the talk of the town and cause a lot of people to re-think. Rethink their perceptions, question their beliefs, spar with their values and even overthrow the society’s stereotypical norms.
I walked into the theatres not really knowing the ensemble, but fascinated by the very title. Google being our generation’s best friend today, when I did a little bit of reading up, I was intrigued even more and I simply HAD TO watch this film!
The opening credits were what enthralled me. Each character being introduced with such lucidness and simplicity and yet, as they slowly divulge themselves one by one, they end up creating a ruckus and evoking a strong sense of fellowship within me!
BeingAngry… It is like a phase that constantly keeps evolving; or rather… Worsening. We are angry about a lot of things, at least I am!
Well, for starters, when you decide to waste your precious time, spend your hard earned money watching a movie in the theatre, please make sure that you do your paisa vasooli either ‘during the interval’ or ‘post the movie’. Dissect it, murder it, do a post mortem for all I care, but… AFTER you have stepped OUT!
I beg of you to kindly refrain from passing any sort of commentary ‘during the film’. You may have spent to enjoy with your family, friends or even you pet rat, but honestly, I wouldn’t spend a paise on that crap that you just vomited because you thought it would make you look cool.
If you notice that somebody is not standing for the National Anthem, try to refrain from exhibiting your patriotism and avoid removing your camera ‘during the national anthem’ to click a picture of those disrespecting, because to make it quite obvious, you are doing the same thing.
If you have a disorder of being restless or not being able to stand silence and you do not want to step out and take a walk because you have paid for your precious ticket, try not to take out your flashy and expensive phone either. Because to spell it out for you, it is plain and simply irritating! Especially when you answer a call and then make sure that everybody in the theatre hears you!
If you cannot seem to respect the efforts taken by the entire cast and crew and wait until half the credits are over at the least… Then… L.E.A.V.E.! It takes a lot to make a film… To express a story, an entire journey in a span of two-three hours, without leaving any loopholes… Ain’t a piece of cake! If you CANNOT be nice to it, I am NOT sorry to say this, but you have absolutely no right to demean it. Because it was your decision to watch it in the first place and now you have to live with it. Besides, you always have the option of WALKING OUT! And if you are too judgmental to pass a comment before it is even half way through, then you seriously have a very sad life.
Every average Bollywood film has an audience, one that loves it when the good guy wins but will wait only to watch the so called fight scenes… One that loves typical romance but will not admit to being emotional… One that will jump with glee when they can identify the censored words, one that thinks they can predict what happens next in the plot, one that is there to only oogle at the star cast, one that is there because somebody dragged them and now they have to make sure to take their revenge by not shutting up, and many more…
But the point is… Every niche segment of films has an audience too! If you are laughing and giggling during a serious scene, it is your incapability to understand the intensity. It is the director’s duty to deliver a good film, not to entertain you.
It may sound petty to you, but for me, watching a film at theatres is a very serious affair. Even if it is a comedy flick; watch it before you react! If you think you can do it better, please do. But if you cannot understand or respect the fact that you are NOT the only one in the theatre and there are by mistake some weird, crazy people who actually come to watch a movie… Go get a life!
I loved certain parts… Certain parts gave me goosebumps! I had recollections of the past in some scenes and some situations made me nostalgic. Like all movies, I cried, I laughed and I thoroughly enjoyed watching the screen come alive with the performances of these gorgeous individual women characters rather than just actors. But more than any thing else, I respect the audacity of these women who stuck it out as BeingFriends more than just being a bunch of women let loose! Being critiqued is a common phenomenon, being judged is unavoidable; but living your character so effortlessly; believing in the story line and carrying out each performance with such ease… Hattts off!
You will undoubtedly identify with them; at the least one if not all! The ruthless boss, the foreign return struggler, the hardcore social activist, the undeterred artist, the unfathomable scholar turned quitter, the relentless fighter and the mad hatter; the self-proclaimed comedian! It felt like the group and the bonding would simply be incomplete without the presence of each and every one of them.
Each women had a role to play, each had a personality different from the other and yet, equally essential to completing the group. Seven women – Jo, Pam, Laxmi, Mad, Su, Freida, Nasreen – a sister, a wife, a maid, a musician, a workaholic, a lover, an opponent, with the firm belief that ‘a women can be what she wants to be…’ Or at least, she has to try! Seven wonders of the world, seven notes of music, seven colors of the rainbow is how I saw them. But what nobody really acknowledged is the silent eight element that was kept in the shadows and was yet being equally influenced… Maya! A name that resonates the very irony! And one, that in fact has a major role to play…
Having actors on board was a very wise decision. It helped in getting across the emotions with just the right pinch of salt and sachet of sugar! Sandhya Mridul, Tannishtha Chatterjee, Sarah-Jane Dias, Anushka Manchanda, Amrit Maghera, Pavleen Gujral and Rajeshri Deshpande all deserve a huge round of applause for their magnificent performances!
It is queer how the censor certification has treated this film, ‘beeping’ practically every assumed ‘cuss’ word and words that ‘implied’ double meaning! I said it in my mind when it beeped on the screen! Just in case you didn’t know… In the movie Hate Story 3; one very popular cuss word is ‘said out loud’… Were you guys on your tea break when that part played?
The music… From ‘Dil Dola Re’ to ‘Zindagi’ to ‘Kattey’, the lyrics, the compositions, the direction simply enhances the charm of the entire situation. I mean for once, it is the other way round where women fantasize about men, gossip, drink to their heart’s glory, act crazy, go bizzarkkk! The background score is extremely apt, filling in the spaces that a lack of conversation creates. The dialogues are crafty and yes, I too have a bunch of friends, my gang of girls, and at times we do talk crap that makes absolute no sense. But at times we can even have blazing arguments and heated discussions, ugly confrontations and severe debates. Thoughts oscillate like a pendulum, never steady! The film is not at all about gender equality! Nope! To me, it is about being you! Yes, it is indeed new age cinema! Because it is an attempt, not a verdict!
Life gives you surprises when you least expect it, it will motivate you when you finally decide to give up and will accept your flaws when you are intent on demeaning it! The one person who acts as everybody else’s agony aunt, solving other’s problems, being a pillar a strength when somebody is low, spreading smiles, keeping to herself in her own sweet world and yet ends up becoming everybody’s favorite, suffers the most – I salute the thought! I hate to admit it, but one incident does hold the power to create an ultimate life changing experience. It can unite you against all odds , tear you apart and yet give you the will power to fight against all odds and keep going! The climax could be called cheesy; but that is because we refuse to accept it even as a possibility.
The one part that made me proud was that the director chose my hometown to shoot this film. And if you minutely notice, during the turning point in each one’s lives, there is the sound of the waves. The waves that make you ponder, that gives you a chill, that calms you down, that makes you feel free, that inspires you, that makes you want to live again! Aesthetically and creatively perfect!
If we are not able to appreciate the fact that somebody has really made a tremendous effort to portray the other side of the coin and has succeeded beyond expectations; if we will still harp upon the shortcomings of how Goa is portrayed as an ultimate destination for wearing skimpy clothes on the beach and not treat it as a freedom of expression; if we will ultimately judge a women’s character on the basis that she drinks or smokes, if we will keep playing the blame game and pointing fingers, if we will keep cribbing about the fact that portraying women with such blatant characters is an impossible feat to achieve; then isn’t that our short coming as an audience?
Because I believe that as a director, Pan Nalin has done a commendable job! Just when the taboo on talking openly about certain topics is being discussed, here comes a concept as original, as realistic, as bold and as it can get…
I toh loved it and have strongly recommended it to all my friends! Whether they like it or not, is not my concern. My efforts are to make them give it a ‘first hand experience’ before they pass a judgement based on other people’s feedback and comments. Its time to speak your own mind!
If people world wide are appreciating, we too need to make a start of becoming a part of the mature audience who views films with an open mind and not a preconceived prejudiced notion…