In the ‘coming-of-age’ variety, Bollywood rarely brings out stories of adolescent rage. Of kids who are oversized, of girls experiencing their first brush with puberty, of boys who are yet to make up their mind about the opposite sex…
So when director Sonam Nair comes up with her mis-en-scene, one wants to peep into the world of Gippi and her friends. Gippi (Riya Vij) faces ridicule in school and shares her pain with her single mother (Divya Dutta). Gippi turns out to be a glib, little less glamourised version of umpteen teenage serials that dot the American television space. With the message of ‘be proud of what you are’ neatly stapled on its sleeve, this film turns out to be a scratchy screenplay where intentions are the only thing that seem real.
After showing some believable snapshots of the bonds that Gippi shares with her mother and brother, Sonam brings out the tested templates that drive such products. Yes, Gippi has a crush. Gippi wants to be the head girl and is in competition with a shapely ‘Miss Perfect’, Shamira (Jayati Modi), who is mean for no reason. The way it pans out it reminds us of producer Karan Johar’s 2012 hit Student Of The Year. Only, the bling factor is a little diminished. It raises relevant points but the innocence or the lack of it seems manufactured.
We know this is Karan Johar’s universe but Sonam fails to hold on to the intrinsic logic of this space. Take the scene where Gippi’s mother comes across her ex-husband or the party scene where Shamira berates Gippi. It all sounds stilted. The good thing is Riya is suitably vulnerable and brings out the transformation well. Divya lends solid support and Arbaaz Kadwani as the brother is absolutely adorable. But after showing initial promise the writing lets them down.
Not bad if you want to give a booster dose to the grumpy adolescent in the family but if you are looking for a realistic check on teenage years, try Sanjivan Lal’s Bubblegum.
Cast: Riya Vij, Divya Dutta, Jayati Modi, Arbaaz Kadwani, Tahaa Shah, Pankaj Dheer
Plot: How an overweight girl fights the taunts she faces in school
Bottomline: The writing lacks weight!