Film Review: That Girl In Yellow Boots

A poignant yet striking account of a girl’s search for her father and the intricacies of modern Indian society.

Director: Anurag Kashyap
Writers: Anurag Kashyap, Kalki Koechlin

Actors: Kalki Koechlin, Naseeruddin Shah, Gulshan Devaiya

Duration: 76 minutes

Ruth(Kalki Koechlin) is a British girl who came to India after her mother passed away and her sister committed suicide. She travels to Mumbai in search of her father who had left home because of disputes with her mother. She works at a massage parlour where besides the usual Swedish and Thai massages, she also performs handshakes for 1000 rupees. Lyn(Kumud Mishra) is one such customer who also happens to be,as Ruth says, his most loyal and frequent customer. Diwakar (Naseeruddin Shah) is an old age man who comes to the parlour for the treatment of his old-age ailments through massages. Prashant (Prashant Prakash) is Ruth’s boyfriend and a drug addict. He owns a huge debt to the local gangster Chittiappa (Gulshan Devaiya) and is not in a condition to pay it back. Chittiappa in turn hassles Ruth for his money. Amidst all this, Ruth’s search for her father continues and leads her where she would have never imagined herself to be.

The story revolves around Ruth and all the other characters share minimum screen space. Kalki has displayed some fine acting skills although at some points one still feels like she is losing grip on the character. Veteran Naseeruddin Shah is flawless as ever, perfectly portraying the average Indian old man who cares for a young girl like her daughter. Gulshan Devaiya, despite his short presence, draws attention and also manages to generate a few laughs amid the monotony. Kumud Mishra however, appears to be the weak link in the chain and fails to impress. Rest of the actors are normal. A fine actor like Rajat Kapoor has been used for a 5 second guest appearance, which is a pity.

The film is short but it lacks pace at some points. A few scenes, like the opening one in the Visa office, have been drawn out unnecessarily which tends to divert the viewer’s concentration from the main plot. Anurag Kashyap’s direction is impressive although the same cannot be said for the dialogues, which could have been more nonchalant. The casual, quotidian conversations overshadow the sensitivity of the subject at many times and even the climax is impaired to a certain extent as one feels Ruth’s wont for a more powerful expression of her shock and sorrow. The background score deserves special mention for complementing the scenes perfectly, especially the piece towards the end of the movie.

Rating: 3/5

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