Clearing the misconception one might have reading the tag line of the review first, this is not any heavy, off-beat, slow moving artistic film, over indulged in the self-realization of its various characters pointing towards the suppressed woman-power in our Indian society. Instead this is thankfully a pleasant fun loving film that begins on an interesting note and then keeps you engrossed for a major chunk of time till the writer-director fall short of ideas and bow down to a predictable Bollywood kind of ending spoiling the great buildup. However the exceptional USP of the film remains that the fun element here completely belongs to the ladies alone without any major male-bashing, talking more about themselves than the people (or men) around in their individual lives.
As far as story plot goes it doesn't have anything substantial to deal with revolving around a Goan girl inviting her group of old time friends for an undisclosed special occasion, with the entire focus on how they all live those few days revealing, discussing and sharing their individual stories of joy, pain, sorrows and doubts together in a spirited manner. So it begins as a fun time watch with some fine innovative introductions and then the first half turns out to be quite a fresh, light & breezy experience for the viewers, especially the women relating to the proceedings on a more personal level. But sadly as soon as the focus shifts from their individual characters to some unfortunate, shocking happening on a beach party in its second half (forcibly justifying its title with a reference of Goddess KALI), the film starts faltering and you wish they could have found a different culmination maintaining the excellence thoroughly enjoyed in its superb first half.
Having said that ANGRY Indian GODDESSES still deserves to be seen as a must, not only because of the fresh look given by a remarkable camera-work capturing the free-spirited locations of Goa but more importantly for the ladies and their entertaining performances with minimal make up and all natural expressions in their free, effortless conversations on screen (that sadly also get screwed up by the beeps added by our honourable Censor Board as usual). Nevertheless the good news is that at last here we have a film specifically celebrating the womanhood that can easily be called 'A rare female buddy film' surprisingly coming from a male director Pan Nalin, perfectly understanding the subject (talking about the opposite sex) in an amazing, worth-praising manner. No doubt the credit here also goes to the dialogue writer penning some highly relatable lines spoken in the language of our daily vocabulary. But the biggest applause surely has to be for the ladies who do contribute the most in this fun-filled ride that would instantly find a connection with the women audience in particular.
In short here we have a bunch of old time friends, remembering their nostalgic times spent in the college and then sharing the later years fighting their individual battles with the inner and outer world together dealing with the men (and women) in their lives. They complain, tease, laugh, cry and hug each other with love and affection along with mentioning the known atrocities widely practiced against women in our male oriented society. But still don't get into any major male bashing mode unnecessarily, that truly works for the film in totality.
Yes, the film does try to cater too many themes in its limited duration of two hours like career struggle, suicidal tendencies, homosexuality, childlessness, divorce, social outburst against capitalists, rape, comment upon the modern dress code of women, role of police & politicians in tackling gruesome crimes and revenge considered as the last resort by the common man or woman. Yet a pretty balanced handling of the sequences by its thoughtful director doesn't let the film become anything close to a heavily preachy or a message oriented one until its last 20 minutes to be precise. Plus a few experimental kind of tracks (and background score) keeps the fun spirit alive till it all gets down to a highly unoriginal and avoidable climax that certainly should have been given a second thought by the makers rectifying the big mistake.
Anyway, coming to the best feature of the film, i.e. its performances, here we have Sarah Jane Dias as the Goan photographer inviting them all, Rajshri Deshpande as her lonely local maid, Sandhya Mridul - the tough businesswoman having a young daughter , Anushka Manchanda - a disturbed struggling singer, Amrit Maghera - a half British actress trying her luck in Bollywood, Pavleen Gujral - a typical housewife suffering the pain of being a childless wife and Tannishtha Chatterjee - a strong minded social activist along with Adil Hussain playing the uncaring police officer making a last moment entry in the film's lackluster finale.
In all, ANGRY Indian GODDESSES needs to be seen for its collective on screen chemistry between the seven leading ladies performing superbly in their respective roles having a real good time together. Thankfully the film is not interested in making any strong social statement about the plight of an exploited Indian women (as expected by many) and remains more like a DIL CHAHTA HAI or ZINDAGI NA MILEGI DOBARA kind of attempt made from the women's perspective giving them the much deserving space and attention on the silver screen like never before. So the soul searching here is more about the individual identities alone and not as a society as a whole that might disappoint a major section of viewers expecting the same.
Hence coming out of that 'routine mode of expectancies', do watch it as a fun filled 'women oriented' film featuring some fabulous natural performances, that could have been a much more enjoyable enriching experience with a different uplifting climax unarguably.
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