Movie review: 'Calendar Girls' yet another hit and miss by Madhur Bhandarkar

Don't expect Calendar Girls to be another Fashion or Page 3

Director: Madhur Bhandarkar
Cast: Akanksha Puri, Avani Modi, Kyra Dutt, Ruhi Singh, Satarupa Pyne
Rating: 2 and a half stars

Madhur Bhandarkar is known for films that showcase a gritty reality that you're left pondering hours later. However, with his latest film Calendar Girls, the director perhaps tries to show far too many facets of the glamour industry for just a two-hour film.

As far as the glamour aspect is concerned, Bhandarkar tries hard to make the film stand out. The glam quotient, background score, glossy sequences could have made for a brilliant film but the Calendar Girls of the title only look good in still photos. Make them deliver a dialogue or two and there go your expectations down the drain! While debutante Kyra Dutt stands out among the five fresh faces introduced by Bhandarkar, we wonder what the casting director was thinking of while auditioning the others!

The film starts with five ambitious young women setting out on the journey of their lives for the love of fashion. A Bengali, a Muslim, a Catholic, a small town girl and another from a metro get selected to feature in the biggest fashion calendar of the year. On the very first ice breaking session with their photographer Ronit Roy, he probes into the sexual pasts of the girls.

Starting the interaction with a question like 'when was the first time you felt a man', Ronit not only gives us a brief insight of what the film is going to be like in the coming hours but also behaves like a cynical photographer. It doesn't get any better from there. Even with the story of each girl piling onto the other's, Bhandarkar still manages to find time to place himself and his brand amidst the film. Wait for the time he makes a sly comment on why he casts heroines instead of heroes in his film!

There is a scene or two in the film that gives you a glimpse into what really goes in the world of high fashion -- but then didn't Bhandarkar's own Fashion already tread that turf? Music wise there's not much that makes an impression. One may sense a brief resemblance of the constant background score with that of Fashion's but even that sense goes away once you witness the acting chops (or lack thereof) of these women.

Don't expect Calendar Girls to be another Fashion or Page 3 -- although it does have a bit of both, wrapped up in a brand new (and unsatisfying) package.
It is also not easy to guess the characters in the film although the makers have kept them as close to their real life as possible.

The climax, however, is unclear and looks like the writer gave up on the story after these girls reached the peak of their careers. Like every Madhur Bhandarkar film even this one has a death towards the end that may or may not be a game changer for the film.

Calendar Girls does not offer anything new content wise but is worth a watch, considering there's not much to look forward to this week.

( Source : deccan chronicle )
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