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That Girl in Yellow Boots  : Walks away proudly in those boots!
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Friday, September 2, 2011
Anurag Kashyap
Kalki Koechlin, Naseeruddin Shah, Gulshan Devaiya, Shivkumar Subramaniam, Kartik Krishnan, Divya Jagdale, Prashant Prakash, Kumud Mishra, Pooja Swaroop
A gloomy excruciating journey of a 20 year old lonesome marred girl, who comes to India on a quest to find out where her father

The plot: The big yellow boots start getting worned out as they are constantly on a mission in search of Ruth’s (Kalki Koechlin) father. Ruth comes to India from Brighton, UK as she is intrigued by a letter written by her father after his disappearance from home and her mother’s piercing silence on the same. The city is all set to prowl on her sufferings and feast on it as she does it all it takes to fit herself in Mumbai. She encounters all sorts of people in Mumbai, a post office official, a policeman, a visa office clerk et al and picks up the good old tradition of “donation” to get her work done. She gets a tidy income as a masseuse (under the radar since she is on a tourist visa without a work permit) with an additional bonus for a good “handshake”. She has an irresponsible boyfriend Prashant (Prashant Prakash), a slimey job and a disturbed equation with an overprotective mom to make her quest rockier.

The good: The movie lives up to its expectations as it leads you to an end which is heart-wrenching and stinging, justifying the whole quest and the travail which she went through for it. The climax is thought-provoking and unpredictable and the end is beautiful with blue light falling on Kalki’s face resembling the metaphorical emotion of cold and taciturn state of her mind. The colour schemes are intelligent in bringing out the mood of the scenes and the frames are all layered carefully particularly noticeable in the scenes where Kalki is shown contemplating i.e. where she is smoking in the parlour and it is dark and shadowy inside and its noisy bustling and colourful outside on streets where she is looking. Kalki for the umpteenth time proves her versatility as an actress as she makes a space for herself in yet another challenging character and brings out the nuances of it with ease. She has done a commendable job along with the newbie Prashant Prakash who plays Kalki’s druggie careless boyfriend. He too does his job well and at no time looks zoned-out. After Shaitan it’s nice to see Gulshan Devaiya once again as here he plays a goon and a marred one, it’s amusing to see his change in characters as he is a baddie initially but gets emotionally manipulated and starts crying later on. Naseeruddin Shah as Divakar is lucid and fits well in his part too making the movie stronger with a perfect ensemble cast. Pooja Swaroop makes her presence felt by adding the much needed humour to the film. And that touch of female bonding is perfect.
Kalki and Anurag make a good pair as they write a kind of film which is their genre.
The direction is smart, crisp and justifies the genre pretty much well. The deep thin layers of each character are brought out rather indirectly and subtly.
The music is queer like the film itself adding the queerness (I made this bold as Bharathi had circled it) to the movie. The frames are well shot particularly scenes where only kalki’s face is shown.

The bad: It’s strange how a 20 year old citizen on a tourist visa adapts so quickly to the lifestyle and systems of Mumbai and gets into this kind of a job. Also, why a mother would not come clean and keep quiet all through, especially when she has a mature 20-year-old daughter.

It is an interesting watch as the yellow boots do leave an impact on you due to its distinctive feel and a story dealing with gritty truth.
– Pooja Thakkar

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