That Girl In Yellow Boots - Review

wogma rating: Add to 'must watch' list (?)
quick review:

That Girl In Yellow Boots is a simple story with soul about a girl who has lost hers and is desperately looking for it. Even if what she is looking for is an image of a father she's never had and always wanted. Whether or not she finds the father is as important as what she goes through to find him. The gritty nature of the film and the subject is not something all of us can handle for it takes guts to accept the truth about the society that we are a part of. It's an important film but not one I'd want to watch again.

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Wogma Review

That Girl In Yellow Boots isn't a film you can enjoy. It's dark and forthright film, making it an uncomfortable watch. It makes you care for its protagonist and you don't want bad things to happen to her even as you see her make herself go through horrible actions. You feel worse for her because she goes about the moral evils from bribery to sexual acts, in a very matter-of-fact manner. (which also means, you don't watch the film with either your kids or your parents!) Anyway, you can see through her immorality from the things she refuses to do. She's street-smart; she has found her way around mean-machine Mumbai even though she's from UK. And yet you know she's fragile under that cold stare.

The writer dug so deep into this one character, that we know her. And that has to be the beauty of an actor being the writer of the story. Kalki Koechlin knows her character Ruth so well, that she takes no time in convincing us that hers is a story that needs to be heard. It also needs to be heard because of the taboo subject it approaches. A topic that needs to be talked about liberally, but is wrapped under covers making the victim feel guilty. In fact, had Ruth's family talked about it, we wouldn't have had this film. (Funny this, I can't talk about it here, because I'll be giving the movie away :))

About ninety out of the hundred minutes are spent with Ruth, trying to find her father. And yet, you don't get bored. That's because of the bunch of characters that Ruth encounters, tolerates and gets past. Almost as if telling us, that the life lessons she is learning will make her a stronger person. And somehow it will all be worth it. From Chitiappa Gauda (Gulshan Devaiya) the much-needed comic relief in the form of a goon to Prashant, Ruth's drug-dealer boyfriend (Prashant Prakash). Amidst this mix of common but not-so-normal characters played by new actors is the reassuring presence of a father figure and familiar face of Naseeruddin Shah. Of course, the fact that I remember the character as Naseeruddin Shah is a tiny failure. But, not a folly that gets overwhelming.

Sure, there are a couple of times when the repetitiveness begins to get at you. But at that exact time, a character in the film tells off the annoying character. Bottom line is the film engages you throughout. The dialogue is smart and the delivery by one and all is perfect. I also like how the characters unfold. We come to know about them through the things they do and how they interact. I'm sure most directors would have chosen the voiceover route.

This is not the kind of Anurag Kashyap film we are used to. That Girl In Yellow Boots is subtler and calmer. He's not rushing to make his point as if he's not sure he'll get another chance to make it. His angst against the society which wouldn't allow his kind of films to be made has settled a bit. And that has only added to the overall package that the film is.

That doesn't mean it doesn't shock you like a trademark Anurag Kashyap film. The "shock therapy" could be held against him, but there are some facts about vermin in our society that cannot be told without shocking. Even though I guessed the climax, because of one passing line Ruth says somewhere in the middle of the film, the climax shook me a bit. It could be just because I didn't want it to be how Ruth's story ended.

An issue that is close-to-heart, a cold portrayal of the world, and the straightforward as-is style made me uncomfortable, which is a big plus for the film because that was its intention. Yet, unlike other Anurag Kashyap films that I'd urge you to try even if they are not your type, I won't be able to recommend That Girl In Yellow Boots. Because ironically, That Girl In Yellow Boots is not for those who are looking for happy endings.

- meeta, a part of the audience

Parental Guidance:

    Not for kids at all.
  • Violence: A couple of fist fights.
  • Language: Lots of cuss words
  • Nudity & Sexual content: Not shown explicitly on screen, but a masseuse gives a hand-job to her clients.
  • Concept: The harshness of truth.
  • General Look and Feel: Yellow. Grim and dark. Mumbai.

Detailed Ratings (out of 5):

  • Direction: 4
  • Story: 4
  • Lead Actors: 5
  • Character Artists: 4
  • Dialogues: 4
  • Screenplay: 3.5
  • Music Director: 4
  • Lyrics: 3.5

That Girl In Yellow Boots - Movie Details

That Girl In Yellow Boots - Trailer

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Comments (7)

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Pondy:

I am still to watch the movie, but am looking forward to watching it soon. I am guessing that the script may have not been as tight as you expected, and that was why the second best rating, which is fine.
But I disagree that the feel of the movie or the ending of the movie should really affect your rating of the movie. So, if that was the only reason for you to have downgraded the movie from 'Must watch' to 'Only the Keen..', I would suggest that you reconsider your rating.
In my view, a film review should rate a movie based on solely the film craft (though I get a hint from your review that the film craft was also lacking in some departments), and not how it makes one feel.

meetu:

@Pondy Hmmm...I disagree. A film makes me react. It is made, so that I react. And my opinion here is only my attempt to describe how I reacted and what might have caused the reaction. For me, story and how it ends is a huge part of whether or not a film works for me. I don't know how to separate that from the craft of film-making. And I'm not sure I should know how either.

Here, I liked the story and the climax was appropriate. I was unsettled by the uncomfortable feeling I had through out the film. That could be the intention of the film, but I didn't like it.

Please do watch it and let us know how you liked it.

Pondy:

@meetu, to each his own, but then I think of movies like A Clockwork Orange, Requiem for a Dream, and I can vouch for the unease factors of these movies.

Jitaditya:

A good film and as usual this AK film also gives us some delightful new actors in the supporting roles....

As films with women protagonists are rare, it was a refreshing experience. Although the shock part is relative, especially for a Kashyap film, taboo topics no longer shocking.

I found Nasir's character to be a bit unconvincing. His reaction on learning what Ruth does for a living is hard to believe... as a regular customer he never guessed it??

SocialDhaba:

Mystical and determined, there is more to Ruth (Kalki Koechlin) than just Yellow Boots. She has travelled all the way to India from England in search for a man who loves her. She searches for her father in Pondicherry, in Goa and now in Mumbai mainly in pursuit of unconditional love, but there is a truth that she has to encounter, that leaves her shattered. ‘That Girl In Yellow Boots’ will stun, surprise and form an instant connection with you.

meetu:

@Pondy i have seen those films and been made extremely uncomfortable by them too, but that doesn't keep me from being made uneasy by other films. That's like saying having seen the beauty of the Himalayas, I won't be able to appreciate the monsoons in Sahyadris.

@samir thanks. :)

@Jitaditya i gave the script the benefit of doubt in that. I assumed that Naseeruddin Shah's character must have refused to take his clothes off the first time and thus never been asked teh regular question by Ruth.

meetu:

@Lilu now that would be fun, no? Anurag Kashyap doing his thing with a mainstream subject/story.

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