Girl-Power, a wedding, rape and murder, all ingredients that turn Angry Indian Goddesses into a delightful movie, up until the point it doesn’t.
Director Pan Nalin went to make a movie about being an Indian woman in today’s India, with all the challenges and preconceptions it carries. In a highly sexist Indian society, this movie digs a hole into the country’s psyche whilst being enjoyable and funny. But don’t get fooled by the delightful energy the movie has, because as it is funny it also turns really dark.
A group of old friends gets together in Goa to celebrate the wedding of a friend, and the eternal question “What do women talk about when they talk?”, is finally answered. Absolutely everything and anything. We get to meet these lovable characters and the types they represent, we have a fashion photographer and bride to be, a corporate slave single mom, a struggling singer, an actress wannabe, the unhappily married wife and an activist. Even though they come from all walks of life, the conversation between them is easy and provides truly funny moments for the audience.
The special connection between these ladies is truly and well captured, specially in their most intimate moments. The fact that the actresses are all very pretty doesn’t hide the fact that they can show a true sense of uniqueness in their individual personalities, and that detail adds greatly to this Angry Indian Goddesses. Even when they fantasizing or commenting about a hot young man and dreaming about getting in on the action, their essence is truly plausible.
You’ve must be wondering by now that this movie has some similarities with Sex In the City, well no. Aside from the fact that it’s a movie about a group of women sharing their ideas and experiences, everything else is really quite far from the New York friends.
And the setting of this movie is the flavour that spices up the mix. India (and Bollywood) is traditionally a sexist society, and making a movie like this required a great deal of courage. Even homosexuality is subtly but well explored in the story. It’s tasteful and not in your face, and because of that it causes a greater impact on the audience. The women are well all portrayed as victims of the patriarchal society, however this connection is very obvious.
A delightful movie with comedic escapades. However, the movie takes a deep dive into heavier material. There’s a rape and a murder, police officers making highly sexist comments. At this point is where our loveable goddesses turn angry, and is also the moment when the story gets side tracked. Our characters turned into vigilantes to protect other women and themselves from harm, claiming the power to say no and using their numbers to cause change. The comedic part is lost with the seriousness of the message.
A highly necessary strong feminist statement is essential in today’s world, and this movie made the attempt of standing out in this fashion, however, the story after this point does not flow as well as before and the important message gets a bit scrambled in the process.
Nonetheless is one of the best movies I’ve seen to criticise patriarchal societies.
Unfortunately we don’t have many of these around and the ones we have, somehow fall short on their attempt to cause a reaction and change. Similarly it also happens with topics like racism, trans-gender and sexual discriminations.
Despite its flaws, Angry Indian Goddesses is a movie that is worth the watch and touches very difficult point in an interesting way. Its funny, relatable, obvious but not preachy. For those reasons we give the goddesses a solid 3 stars out of 5.