Starring: Riya Vij, Divya Dutta
Directed by Sonam Nair
Sonam Nair’s debut film is promising to start with. A flabby teenager’s growing up pangs—be it the physical changes, relationship tussles or friendship duels—feel very real. And the fact that an unknown face, Riya Vij, plays the title role of Gippi with maturity and mellowness only helps make the film more likeable. Moreover, there is a veteran of many emotions, Divya Dutta, playing her divorced single mother with just the right mix of hurt, vulnerability and strength. There’s also a nice gender bender in Gippi’s home, with a soft, demure brother balancing out her tomboyish swagger. So far quite good. But soon the designer exterior, in which the real emotions are ensconced, begins to get overbearing and irritating. Some of the kids feel like leftovers from a Student of The Year; a competitive finale (in this case an election) to settle who is the best is a boring, old device that takes the shine away from the fact that we do have a new Bollywood heroine who is not insecure about her imperfections, but prefers to live with them. Another bit of nitpicking: a 14-year-old’s obsession with Shammi Kapoor? A bit hard to fathom?