Angry Indian Goddesses by Pan Nalin is a intelligent, well made, must watch Indian motion picture which rakes up some real issues that are prevalent in today's hypocritical society albeit in an entertaining manner. From the surface, AIG looks like a female bonding story but scratch the surface and a diverse range of issues ranging from gender discrimination, rapes, homosexuality, legal battle and revenge crop up. The beauty of AIG lies in its well etched out characters and their respective stories. And, when you have talented staracst portraying their respective characters with aplomb, it acts as icing on the cake. Another major highlight of the movie is that all the leading ladies of AIG represent the true picture of today's modern urban women with none of them faking the sanskari culture. Though, our sanskari censor board once again plays the spoilsport by muting several dialogues in the movie which acts as a deterrent.
The opening prelude sets the tone for this wonderful movie which celebrates womanhood as you watch Pammy (Pavleen Gujral) dropping gym weights on the guy's foot who is teasing her in the gym ; singer Madhureeta (Anushka Manchanda) attacking the interrupters during her performance ; photographer Freida (Sarah Jane Dias) quitting a fairness cream shoot ; Corporate honcho Suranjana (Sandhya Mridul) after tearing apart her subordinates, strips to her bikini and dives into a pool ; a wannabe Bollywood starlet Joanna (Amrit Maghera) fails to obey her director's instructions of being a damsel in distress during a shoot and Lakshmi (Rajshri Deshpande) catches hold of a eve teaser literally by his balls.
The women in AIG are brave, sexy and candid. They have the guts to barge into a men's toilet, drink, smoke, use cuss words, share sex jokes and break a drinks bar with a cricket bat. But, all of them have had their share of high/lows in life and are fighting their respective demons. While, one of them who has been the college topper feels that she has just been reduced to being a mere commodity at her in-law's place ; the other is pissed off with judicial system as her brother was gunned down in front of her eyes and is still awaiting justice. Another, a budding Rockstar is miffed off because she is not able to cut down the album of her choice as everyone wants her to sing typical Bollywood songs. But, when they get together, they set the house on fire. Their sitting together, drinking and talking their hearts out is what lends the most plausible moments to the film. They are women of substance and steel....., a domineering bunch they sure are. All of them are trying to live their life at their own terms and all of them gather at one place, Goa. The reason of their coming together is impending marriage of one of them. Hereafter, begins the revelry, bonding, some masti and discovery of their own selves.
But, remember Nalin has called his film Angry Indian Goddesses. They are angry and he tells you why right from the beginning. If the film's prelude showcases the hypocrisy of our society in perceiving women, the pre climax portions of the movie lend a further impetus to it. The dialogues spoken by a cop (Adil Hussain in an effective cameo) reek of the typical mentality with which young free spirited women are looked at. Cigarette peeti ho, Ye kapde kaise pehne hain, itni raat ko beach pe party, open jeep mein ghumti ho.....all these comments make women look like culprits rather than victims. And this takes AIG to another level, much beyond a film about female bonding, a feminist statement or a tribute to women power. It's a film that reveals the innermost feelings/desires of every girl/woman and most of the females will be able to relate with one or the other part of the movie.
Sandhya Mridul carries off her part of being the corporate honcho with the right amount of confidence and attitude. She looks perfectly poised while in board meeting or during her telephonic conversations, ably displays her vulnerable side when she comes to know about qualities of her girl child and also when she sets out to seek revenge in the climax.
Sarah Jane Dias not only displays a cool demeanor throughout the movie but also proves her caliber as an actress. As Freida, the photographer, Sarah packs quite a punch in her character. I am sure she is gonna win lot of hearts with her apt performance in AIG.
Anushka Manchanda literally enlivens the character of Madhureeta in AIG with her brilliant act. With AIG, Anushka has proved that she has a penchant for acting too apart from singing.
Pavleen Gujral is at her natural best as the Delhi based, housewife,Pammi in AIG. The scene in which she confides to Madhureeta about her loveless marital life speaks volumes about her acting prowess.
Amrit Maghera has portrayed the character of Joanna to the tee in AIG proving her mettle as an actress. Her expressions while having a wet dream, while convincing Lakshmi to forget about revenge and while being teased over her British-Indian accent are so very comprehensive.
Rajshri Deshpande gets to play the most complex character in AIG with several dimensions attached to it which she has done with effortless ease.
Adil Hussain stands out and makes his presence felt while playing a effective cameo in AIG.
Arjun Mathur shines in his guest appearance as boyfriend of Madhureeta. The concerns of his character about well being of his girlfriend were so genuinely reflected by Arjun that we could walk in his shoes. Subtle yet powerful act.
As writer-director, Pan Nalin has conceived and crafted the tale eloquently on-screen. He scores all the brownie points for making a flawless movie where every single scene conveys, a very powerful, undercurrent message without being loud about it.
Angry Indian Goddesses is a must watch movie for every individual who wishes to grow and come out of his/her closet.
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