Movie Review: 'Gippi'

At the outset, 'Gippi' promises to be a coming of age film, dealing with the issues of a teenager. Gurpreet Kaur (Riya Vij) lives with her mother (Divya Dutta) and brother Booboo (Arbaz Kadwani). Life seems idyllic as Gippi dances to Shammi Kapoor tunes and her mother indulges her with new clothes and pakodas.

Riya Vij in a still from 'Gippi'
Riya Vij in a still from 'Gippi'

But Gippi is overweight, clumsy and bullied by a super talented girl Shamira (Jayati Modi) in the school. Good enough. But apart from the Shammi Kapoor nice touch, it looks like the film could be set anywhere in the west and we wouldn’t know the difference. Initially when Gippi speaks to her friend about breasts and periods, one expects a bright spark of a film, dealing with some of the teenage issues upfront. But unfortunately, 'Gippi' soon meanders into one of those many mediocre teenage films that Hollywood churns out on a regular basis.

For starters, the problems that Gippi has seen more first world than the actual ones that a girl in a small town in India could be facing. Gippi and her brother are privileged to go to a school where girls come with blow dried hair and the boys (high school, if you please) have easy access to cigarettes and stuff. What’s more, 14 year old Gippi’s mother is liberal enough to let her go on a date night with a stranger. I am yet to meet many Indian mothers being cool about that.

An opportunity made to go waste by director Sonam Nair, specially considering she got oodles of acting talent on her side. Riya Vij, plays a confused, troubled teenager with aplomb and the other fresh faced kids, which includes Kadwani and other school students, each of them play their roles with a lot of earnestness and sincerity.

If only the story was more real and close to home. By now we know that our teenagers have their own set of problems to grapple with, which needs looking into and retold as a story. Disappointing. 

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