ANGRY INDIAN GODDESSES

November 2 – 2PM + 7:30PM

India, 2016 – Rated 14A – 104 minutes
– in English and Hindi with English subtitles
Directed by Pan Nalin|
Cast: Amrit Maghera, Rajshri Deshpande, Pavleen Gujral

 

 

On the eve of their friend’s wedding in Goa, a group of women discuss everything under the sun in this largely improvised and refreshingly frank depiction of contemporary Indian society from award-winning director Pan Nalin (Samsara), which has been billed as “India’s first female buddy comedy.”

In the scenic beachside state of Goa, Frieda (Sarah Jane Dias), a strong-willed and successful photographer, gathers her closest friends on the eve of her nuptials. The diverse group offers a snapshot of modern Indian society: Su (Sandhya Mridul), a businesswoman and mother; the engaging Nargis (Tannishtha Chatterjee, Siddharth, Anna Karenina); Jo (Amrit Maghera), an aspiring film actress; Pammy (Pavleen Gujral), a housewife; Mad (Anushka Manchanda), a singer-songwriter; and house servant, Lakshmi (Rajshri Deshpande). Everything’s set for a night of celebration. There’s only one issue: Frieda won’t say who her betrothed is. As the women banter their way through the evening, covering topics ranging from sex to street harassment to the buff (and often shirtless) next-door neighbour, we become acquainted with the women’s dreams, desires, fears and, above all, the unbreakable bond between them — a bond that will eventually lead them to take some extreme actions.

Developing the film’s dialogue almost entirely out of improvisations with his actors, director Nalin allows her narrative to take surprising turns that upend genre expectations and explore the pressing issues of gender and sexism in contemporary Indian society. Shuttling from the jubilantly comic to scenes of touching pathos, Angry Indian Goddesses is a refreshing and frank depiction of female empowerment from a key figure in independent South Asian cinema.

 

The cast are a talented and spirited bunch, enjoying the opportunity to let loose with grievances while revelling in the togetherness of female-centric safety.

 – Jay Weissberg, Variety