Homosexuality in Hindi films is no longer in the closet. In the recent past, a number of Hindi films have depicted gays or made digs at them in some context or the other.
Karan Razdan?s GIRL FRIEND takes a different route altogether. It tackles the hitherto untouched subject of lesbianism. Of course, Deepa Mehta?s FIRE did tackle the issue earlier, but that was more about two lonely wives getting close due to circumstances.
In GIRL FRIEND, one of the characters is a lesbian, while the other has had a sexual encounter with the same sex. GIRL FRIEND has shock value and that?s where it works. For, this is not the usual boy-caught-between-two-girls routine saga, but a genuinely different love triangle.
The shock value and the generous display of skin in GIRL FRIEND is enough to catch the attention of the Indian masses. But it?s not just the skin-show that you get to see in the film ? there?s a story as well. And that is a rarity in sex-laden films.
Tanya [Isha Koppikar] and Sapna [Amrita Arora] have been friends since college, living together and taking life as it comes. Tanya is overtly possessive about Sapna, so much so that she even bashes up guys who try to act fresh with her.
When Tanya goes out of town on an official work, Sapna happens to meet Rahul [Aashish Chowdhry] in a party. By the time Tanya is back, Sapna is in love. When Tanya learns about their relationship, she reacts strongly. Her jealousy and possessiveness comes to the fore when she meets Rahul.
Tanya goes all out to wreck Sapna?s relationship with Rahul. There are hidden desires in Tanya. Wild desires, which lead her to clash with Rahul in a fight to the finish.
The novelty of GIRL FRIEND is the issue it tackles [lesbian]. Treated in a commercial format, writer-director Karan Razdan has padded the story with several intense moments that will catch the viewer unaware.
The sequences between Isha and Aashish are the hallmark of the enterprise. Their verbal confrontations/duels at regular intervals maintains a strong hold on the viewer.
But the songs, though tuneful, act as speed breakers. For instance, the first half has as many as four songs, all placed one after the other in rapid succession. In fact, the makers can easily delete a song or two to fasten the pace of the film.
What really catches the viewer unaware is the lengthy love making scene prior to the intermission. The love making sequence, between two women, will not only prove to be a shocker for the orthodox Indian viewer, but may trigger off a trend for films of this genre.
The post-interval portions rely heavily on drama to carry the story forward. The film drops, picks up, drops and picks up yet again in this half.
Despite the few hiccups, director Karan Razdan manages to keep the audience interest alive in the proceedings. Besides a couple of well-executed sequences, the film has been shot at eye-filling locales of Mauritius, thereby giving the film an upmarket feel. Even the skin show and love making scenes aren?t tacky or downmarket.
Daboo Malik?s music is tuneful, though the placement of songs could?ve been better. ?Bheegi Bheegi? is the best song of the lot. Cinematography is first-rate.
The story of GIRL FRIEND rests on three characters and all three look the parts they are enacting. Isha Koppikar gets the meatiest part and she delivers effortlessly. Her overtly possessive attitude is amongst the highpoints of the film. Even her look towards the second half adds to the character.
Aashish Chowdhry does go overboard in the initial reels, but does well in latter parts. Amrita Arora carries off her role well. This time, the curvaceous actress not only gets a chance to display her anatomy, but talent as well and she rises to the occasion.
On the whole, GIRL FRIEND has two strong points to woo the Indian masses ? sex and shock-value. At the box-office, moderately priced GIRL FRIEND should keep its investors safe.