A dark thriller

Published: Sep 01, 2011, 11:27 IST | Shubha Shetty-Saha

Ruth (Kalki Koechlin), young British girl, comes to India in search of her father who had abandoned her mother and her when she was five years old. The father sends her a letter saying he misses her, but doesn't give her any clues about his whereabouts. Ruth is convinced that he is the only one who loves her unconditionally, and hence is determined to find him against all odds.

That Girl In Yellow Boots
A; Thriller
Director: Anurag Kashyap
Cast: Kalki Koechlin, Prashant Prakash, Gulshan Devaiah, Naseeruddin Shah, Pooja Sarup
Rating: ***



Ruth (Kalki Koechlin), young British girl, comes to India in search of her father who had abandoned her mother and her when she was five years old. The father sends her a letter saying he misses her, but doesn't give her any clues about his whereabouts. Ruth is convinced that he is the only one who loves her unconditionally, and hence is determined to find him against all odds.

The film starts with Ruth trying to bribe the officials while renewing her visa in Mumbai, fielding their 'indecent' queries and demands with expertise. She is street smart, and by now you know that she can manage on her own pretty well. She lives in a seedy house and works illegally in a seedier massage parlour, where she offers 'happy endings' to her male clients at 1000 extra bucks per experience.

She has a cokehead of a boyfriend Prashant (Prashant Prakash) whom she calls a distraction, even while she continues a desperate search for her father.  Thanks to the boyfriend, she lands in trouble with a goon Chittiappa Gowda (Gulshan Devaiah).

A rare female character in Hindi cinema, Ruth displays admirable strength. She goes about doing the most 'immoral' things with a cold and at times creepy let's-get-on-with-life-till-I-find-my-dad demeanor. Her vulnerability peeps through occasionally, like when Chittiappa and his cronies land up at her home and steal her well-earned money. Or when she interacts with a client Diwakar (Naseeruddin Shah), who is a father like figure.

From the very first scene, director Anurag Kashyap manages to draw us into the dark despair that Ruth's life is filled with.  As the movie progresses, you can't help but become more and more anxious to know where Ruth's father is. Even though Kalki has done a more than competent job, there are certain scenes in which she looks more indifferent than restrained.  Devaiah, as the Kannada- speaking fumbling but ruthless goon, is excellent. But it is Pooja Sarup who gives a fantastic performance as Maya, the lady in charge of the parlour that Ruth works at. Sarup has infused life in her character, who is a chatterbox and a nonchalant flirt. Prashant, as a hopeless drug addict, has done a good job too.

The downside is that the story seems manipulated at times, especially when you are wondering about the identity of the father. But it is the climax of this film that stays with you long after you've stepped out of the theatre. A betrayal so big, that it stuns the boots off you, yellow or otherwise.

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