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'Angry Indian Goddesses': Spirited and pretentious (IANS Review - **)
Film: "Angry Indian Goddesses"; Cast: Sandhya Mridul, Amrit Maghera, Anushka Manchanda, Tannishtha Chatterjee, Rajshri Deshpande, Pavleen Gujral and Sarah-Jane Dias; Director: Pan Nalin; Rating: **
Touted as the first Indian female buddy film, "Angry Indian Goddesses", in fact, is one and a spiritedly pretentious one, at that.
It is a film, packed with emotions that swing erratically and then settles down predictably on a sombre note.
The film begins with an introduction to six girls; actress Joanna Mendes (Amrit Maghera) aka Jo shooting a scene for a Hindi film, Laxmi Gaude (Rajshri Deshpande) a flashy maid in Goa, Pamela Jaswal (Pavleen Gujral) aka Pam doing work outs in the gym in Delhi, Madhureeta (Anushka Manchanda) aka Mad on a music tour in Jaipur, Suranjana Banerjee (Sandhya Mridul) aka Su running a corporate set-up in Bengaluru and Freida D'Silva (Sarah-Jane Dias) a photographer conducting a shoot in Bangkok.
Each of these introductory montages, highlight the women having to put up with male eccentricities and them brazenly fighting off their offenders.
The individual scenes are outrageous, at the same time hilarious. This is just the prelude, before the titles roll.
What follows is; Freida who is settled in Goa with her maid in tow, invites the rest of the gang, who are her college mates for a mysterious celebration along with her social activist friend Nargis Nasreen (Tannishtha Chatterjee).
The girls land in Goa. Suranjana being a single mother comes along with her young daughter, Maya. On a "short notice," the gang jam up at Freida's bungalow. This rendezvous turns out to be momentous for them.
While the lot, regale themselves about the past, enjoying the present, despite their shortcomings and planning for a brighter future, their mood swings, creating bouts of dramatic beats to the flow of the narration.
There is no depth in the story. Pan Nalin's script with a one-dimensional intent of celebrating female bonding, unravels the miseries of a liberated woman in a chauvinistically male dominated society.
He does this, in a light-hearted and cheerful manner. The no-holds barred girlie talk, is not only amusing, but enlightening too. But the gaping plot holes, which he has overlooked, leaves a lot to be answered.
Nalin has used the setting, Goa effectively. He has skilfully incorporated a Konkani song into the script and has also included local issues to give it an authentic feel to the narrative.
On the directorial front, the scenes are well-choreographed and the cast delivers feisty performances that are memorable.
Each female actor is natural and competent. On the other hand, their male counterparts, apart from being candy floss, are mere pawns in the narrative. They have nothing much to offer. Adil Hussain as the police officer is wasted.
With moderate production values, Swapnil Suhas Sonawane's cinematography is remarkable. The background score at times is screechy and the production design though mostly artistic, is a bit forged.
Overall, "Angry Indian Goddesses" would appeal only to the urban audience, as the others would neither relate to the characters nor some of their shocking behaviour.
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