It`s that sassy, spunky, urbane chick mouthing that `f` word
again! Last week it was Rani Mukerji in "No One Killed Jessica". This
time it`s the delightfully spontaneous Gul Panag, who`s playing a working-girl
in an ad agency and is on the verge of 30. But things are not quite working out
for her and she is watching her life come apart at the seams.
This is "Sex & The City" transposed to Mumbai.
Abandoned by her well-to-do boyfriend, Naina weeps with unabashed self-pity in front of the bathroom mirror and pleads, begs and whines with him to "take her back".
In one of the film`s best sequences, Naina`s ex-boyfriend comes home to collect his things. Gul Panag`s body language and her desperate attempts to provoke him into emotional and sexual submission echoed Shabana Azmi`s celebrated `party` sequence in Mahesh Bhatt`s "Arth" where she pleaded with her husband to take her back.
"Is she better in bed," Gul asks with poignant aggression.
The problem, you realize in telling the tale of an urban girl`s adventures in the big bad city is the language. While debutante director Alankrita Shrivastava, in control of her narration and characters, gets the mood right, the dialogues often appear to be straining for effect.
Which woman of today, hitting on a guy in a bar or for that matter anywhere, uses a term like "fuddy-duddy"?
The chick flick, as it is rather crudely called, is an alien genre in Bollywood. The first time director gets the tone and spirit of urban female bonding far more accurately than in the recent "Aisha". "Turning 30" goes for the inner wear-and-tear.
The music is loud and played at just the right decibel. The characters seem to be grooving in rhythm most of the time.
Once Purab Kohli makes a late entry into Naina`s life, the film kind of loses its ebullient spirit. The narrative gets lazy and Naina`s 30th birthday party just goes on and on… Naina and her friends play `truth or dare` where two girls confess they`re lesbians… and there is laughter, acceptance and warm hugs.
But at the end of it all, we do care about what happens to Naina`s adrift life. How Naina gets back her groove makes an interesting if at times sluggish story.
The situations created in the script appear straight out of the urbane chaos of designer labels and self-preserving image-creation... The narrative has an endearing fluidity and fluency to it. Girls here wanna have fun.
The unabashed references to the protagonist`s sex life and physicality are new to Hindi cinema. Gul Panag plays Naina with a disarming mix of transparency and confusion. She lets the character`s strength and vulnerability hang out in the same line of vision, creating a world that is at once lived-in and unexplored.
It`s a wonderful experience just watching Gul light up the screen once again after "Dhoop" and "Dor".
The supporting actors are all like people you`ve bumped into in Mumbai in an elevator or while waiting in line to get into a multiplex to watch a film like "Turning 30".
New cinematographer Akshay Singh shoots the characters in a way that they appear in a far better light than they would otherwise. Fresh, feisty and well-designed with above-average technical virtues, "Turning 30" is more chic than a `chick flick`.
`Turning 30!!!`: an insight into a woman`s psyche (IANS Preview)
Aging skin, fading glow, white streaks in the hair and uncertainty - audiences will get to taste a slice of life in Turning 30!!! that talks about women either hitting a subconscious halt or turning a new leaf at the milestone age.
Produced by Prakash Jha, the light-hearted outing is the
directorial debut of Alankita Srivastav, who has been a long-time assistant to
With former beauty queen Gul Panag in the lead, the young urban woman-centric love story also features Purab Kohli in a pivotal role. Made at a budget of Rs.3.5 crore, the film will hit over 125 screens Friday.
Dharmendra and his sons Sunny and Bobby Deol-starrer Yamla Pagla Deewana is also releasing the same day, but the first time director has no apprehensions.
Not at all! I love Dharampaji. In fact we are all going to watch `Yamla Pagla Deewana` together with `Turning 30!!!`, Alankrita told IANS over the phone from Mumbai.
It is a completely different kind of film and there is space for both the movies. They are in completely different zones and genres, she added.
Set in Mumbai, the movie revolves around Naina (Gul) who, in the face of her 30th birthday, grapples with a heartbreak and a crisis in her advertising career. A hilarious and heart-warming journey of a young woman who is blossoming into a woman of substance, the movie then deals with the hurdles in her life and how she overcomes them as a mature person.
Gul, who herself touched the 30-mark last year, says apart from the physical changes that one experiences, a lot of self-assessment starts poking women in the head at that age.
The skin starts showing its age, the glow might start fading, the tightness and firmness on the skin starts to feel the change. Expectations begin to hover in a self-assessment procedure and also by your near and dear ones, she said.
But the people who are stable in their lives don`t really realise much of these things. But the ones who haven`t been able to establish themselves go through this phase more than the others, she added.
Having already generated some buzz courtesy its slick trailer and a different subject, the movie is expected to receive niche footfalls.
Usually people in rural settings are settled in their lives with their family and work and just have an aim to earn more and live a happy life. But in urban settings, we are so disorganised. Women are not married, might be unemployed, they have no permanent accommodation at times and, on top of it, the physical changes start worrying you....so it is something to be anxious about, said Alankrita.