I’ve been wanting to see this film ever since it released last year. Unfortunately this didn’t release in the US at the time it did in India. But I wanted to see it because it is a unique film, for Bollywood that it, since there are very few Hindi films that are made specifically for young people. And cleanly and classily at that.
Gippi is 14 tear old Gurpreet Kaur, who lives with her beauty-salon-running mom (Divya Dutta) and younger brother Booboo. Her parents are divorced and her dad is on the verge of marrying again. This is a tumultuous time then for teenager Gippi as she deals with a multitude of pressures – the desire to be thin and cute, and attractive to the new boy in her class, and then of course there is the stuff with her parents. When she has a nasty spat with “cool” class-girl Shamira, Gippi must prove that she has what it takes to win.
Given that I really wanted to see this film, I was a little disappointed. It is decent, but not especially well made, as in, it drags, there seems to be little flow or structure. Like other Karan Johar productions this film too takes a challenging situation/problem in the protagonists’s life and sees it through to its resolution. The young protagonist Ms. Vij is pretty effervescent but can’t emote in some of the heavier scenes – I actually liked the young lady playing her best friend Aanchal more. Also there is virtually no star power in this film so you hang in there because you like the protagonist, and hope to see her bloom.
In what this film gets right, there are a bunch of things – nice play on familial love (Divya Dutta is phenomenal as the single mom), cute characters, adorable tweensy dialog, peppy youngish music. I also liked the fact that this film depicts positive characters – her mom is a spunky woman who support her kids as an independent woman and countenances gracefully her ex-husband’s second marriage, and her dad is a loving father although no longer married to her mother. There are no hidden morality messages (and you know Bollywood is rife with those) about marriages/divorces, boyfriends and “being horny”, so we really do take the grown-up viewpoint here, which is nice and refreshing for a Hindi film.
Superficially, Gippi falls in the “coming-of-age” category, but the coming-of-age is so shallowly dealt with that I hesitate to place this film in that category. As far as Hindi films go, you could do worse than Gippi. I only wish I could recommend whole-heartedly, but alas, I can’t.
Kidwise: Clean. I’d recommend this for teenagers.