Rating: 1.5/5 Stars (One and half star)
Star Cast: Ruhi Singh, Satarupa Pyne, Akanksha Puri, Kyra Dutt, Avani Modi, Suhel Seth
Director: Madhur Bhandarkar
What’s Good: I couldn’t help but feel good about the fact that my predictions about the film turning out be a complete Madhur Bhandarkar signature affair turned true and I am sure that was the only good part in the film.
What’s Bad: Umm.. Why did Madhur Bhanadarkar not name the film ‘Fashion 2’? He brings nothing new to the floor and we have seen enough of his ‘realism’ when it comes to the glamour world.
Loo Break: Yes!
Watch or Not?: Not worth the effort! Who would want to spend their weekend watching a film that takes you down the Fashion memory lane. The same old quick success and its flip side story. Yawn!
The film starts off with an introduction to the chosen five calendar models. We are first shown a picture of their backgrounds as they come from different towns and different family values too.
The five models essaying the lead characters are Akanksha Puri as Nandita Menon, Avani Modi as Nazneen Malik, Kyra Dutt as Sharon Pinto, Ruhi Singh as Mayuri Chauhan and Satarupa Pyne as Paroma Ghosh.
Typically, the story takes off by showing the changes that take place in the lives of these Calendar models post the fame they receive after its release. While Nandita gets hitched into a royal family, the Pakistani girl Nazneen tastes a bitter medicine thanks to her religious background. Sharon on the other hand, a straight forward girl, carves her way up with honesty and even changes her career as she becomes a TV anchor.
Mayuri takes Bollywood by storm with her social networking skills and Paroma gets involved into a match fixing controversy.
Add this story with heaps of make-up, not-so-classy dresses, cheesy dialogues and here is what the film is all about.
Calendar Girls Review: Script Analysis
We are tired of being told that ‘models are dumb’, designers are gay and corporates are all about escorts. That is the kind of stereotyping Madhur Bhandarkar portrays in his new film Calendar Girls. Half the time, he is busy reminding us of his own works and the rest is nothing startling or a discovery for us.
There is little realism in Bhandarkar’s so-called realistic film. If the whole dark side of fame and glamour was any less done-to-death, there are regressive ideas passed on too. In one of the scenes, the editor of a news channel is actually seen asking Sharon’s character who plays an anchor for an entertainment show that she has been promoted to the Delhi office so that she can do ‘serious journalism’. Well, looks like Mr. Bhandarkar thinks there is no ‘serious’ journalism left in Entertainment.
The writing is outdated and dialogues such as “Mujhe bada paisa, bada hero aur badi film chahiye” are highly disappointing. The only new angle that Bhandarkar introduces to the film is the bigger role social networking plays in the lives of the upcoming Bollywood stars and models who are trending topics. He briefly touches the topics of spot-fixing in a la IPL tournament but it’s an unnecessary addition. He even touches on the controversial models taking part in reality show competition for an image makeover topic. But overall, the plot seems extremely botched up with too much on its plate.
Thank God! Bhandarkar missed the ‘drug abuse’ issue.
Calendar Girls Review: Star Performance
Amongst the five newbies, Akanksha Puri, Avani Modi, Kyra Dutt, Ruhi Singh and Satarupa Pyne, sadly there is not one who comes across as an actress. All five of them seem a little plastic to emote well. Yet, Kyra Dutt gets a good chunk of a role and hence she is the one who is the most notable. Also Ruhi Singh who may have clicked ‘selfies’ all through her role, gets a decent screen time amongst the other girls.
Madhur Bhandarkar makes quite an unnecessary cameo in the second half and plays himself (as one of the most-sought after directors in B-town). As though he could not explain it to the media in interviews, Bhandarkar actually has a scene where he mentions why he makes films with women-centric roles.
Rohit Roy is once again his pick as the fashion photographer and he gets a brief role in the first half.
Suhel Seth’s character is drawn from Vijay Mallya and he does basically nothing in the film. One character which actually should have been focused on and developed by the writers.
Calendar Girls Review: Music, Direction
Madhur Bhandarkar has now come quite far from his hard-hitting film times. He has completely lost his vision and it is very clear with Calendar Girls. If only, Bhandarkar had realized that none of his lead actresses can act he could have still made the film work with the right cast. His five lead actresses, on whose shoulders the film rests, are completely poor at emoting and well, the dialogue delivery is sufficient to show how much they need to lean about acting.
Technically too the film faces a lot of issues and it is extremely impossible to watch even the lip-sync going off-balance.
The bikini avatars do not glue the audiences when the story is going haywire and hence while the first half is still bearable, the second half completely loses its grip. To top it all, the background score is also not effective and the music is a big let down. Luckily, the editing is in place and hence the film wraps up soon which is a delight.
Calendar Girls Review: The Last Word
Calendar Girls is a complete let down on all fronts, acting, writing and direction. Nothing real or reel in this film is appealing and hence I am going with a 1.5/5 for the film.
Calendar Girls Trailer
Calendar Girls releases on 25th September, 2015.
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