Indian cinema is truly evolving. More and more film-makers in Mumbai specifically are realizing the importance of narrating a new story every time they make an effort. Anurag Kashyap, the maverick, had been doing so from his first film. His new
film, THAT GIRL IN YELLOW BOOTS, is by far his boldest film and if I may say so, his best effort so far. Powerful and captivating, THAT GIRL IN YELLOW BOOTS has a shocker of a conclusion that leaves you disturbed and
For the conventional spectators of Hindi cinema, THAT GIRL IN YELLOW BOOTS will come across as a never-seen-before experience. On the surface, THAT GIRL IN YELLOW BOOTS may give the impression of being a thriller, but as you delve
deeper and deeper, you apprehend that controversial themes like child abuse and drug addiction have been pragmatically depicted by the ace raconteur. In fact, the culmination to the story -- an expose on the psychopathic behavior -- is truly jaw
dropping and continues to haunt you even after the movie has concluded. That's the kind of impact it makes!
THAT GIRL IN YELLOW BOOTS traces Ruth's [Kalki Koechlin] search for her father -- a man she hardly knew, but cannot forget. Desperation drives her to work, without a permit, at a massage parlor. Torn between several schisms, Mumbai
becomes the alien but yet strangely familiar backdrop for Ruth's quest. She struggles to find her independence and space even as she is sucked deeper into the labyrinthine politics of the city's underbelly. A city that feeds on her misery, a love
that eludes her and above all, a devastating truth that she encounters.
First things first, THAT GIRL IN YELLOW BOOTS is not your emblematic desi flick. It speaks a new language and has the unflinching approach of individualist director Anurag Kashyap. The screenplay is such that it keeps you estimating
as to what's going to happen subsequently, till the finale hits you like a ton of bricks. Truly, this is not your characteristic desi flick.
Shot in undersized places, like tiny dwellings, seedy massage parlors and shrunk spaces, the visuals add to the feeling of anxiety, claustrophobia and uneasiness throughout, which, frankly, gels very well with the character and plot of the film.
That's not all, the sundry characters that you are introduced to in Ruth's journey -- shady people, drug dealers, ruthless criminals, sex fanatics and of course, the crooked officers at the government offices [note the treatment meted out to white
women at these places] -- leaves you flabbergasted.
The narrative moves at its own pace, but let me add, there's never a dull moment in the enterprise. Kashyap successfully probes into the disturbed mind of his central character as she encounters her dilemmas and the scandalous conclusion to
the story is something, I am sure, you'd never forget. I'd like to add here that this is Kashyap's most powerful film to date, his best work so far in terms of narrative and storytelling. Together with co-writer Kalki Koechlin, Kashyap narrates a tale
that's extremely compelling and equally complicated.
THAT GIRL IN YELLOW BOOTS is embellished with top notch performances, with Kalki scoring brownie points for her super performance in the film. Playing a stylish, sensible, sharp-witted British girl supporting herself by working illegally in a
massage parlor, Kalki has the right look for her part, but it does take a lot of guts to portray this intricate role. She has an inimitable talent and onscreen presence by means of which she single-handedly carries the film with her gut wrenching raw
One of the finest actors of India, Naseeruddin Shah brings value and reverence to the character he depicts. In addition, there's a wonderful performance by Prashant Prakash, who plays Kalki's oversexed coke-sniffing lover boy. Gulshan Devaiya
is an incredible talent, no two opinions on that, and he carries off his part brilliantly. The actress portraying the role of a vivacious chatterbox in charge of the massage parlor is excellent. Kumud Mishra, Shiv Subramaniam, Makrand Deshpande,
Ronit Roy, Piyush Mishra, Rajat Kapoor and Divya Jagdale are perfect in their parts.
On the whole, THAT GIRL IN YELLOW BOOTS is yet another outstanding example of independent cinema. This Anurag Kashyap film caters to a more evolved, cinema literate audience. The film may not boast of big stars or may not be very
huge on hype and hoopla, but it is a gem of a movie that should be watched for its powerful plot and terrific execution of the written material. Watch this film if you want to see cinema from India beyond the routine Bollywoodish stuff.