CAST & CREW
Bollywood has been churning out “coming-of-age stories” now and then not all of which are genuine to that genre but just wrapped up as such. “ Gippi,” however, is the realistic, de-glamorised story of a plain looking, overweight girl, who has no qualms about asserting what she really is without any artificial airs. At another level, the film also is about an underdog, who asserts herself from a position of doom, to lift herself and place herself on a lofty pedestal of her own conception.
Plot: “Gippi” is the story of the fourteen-year-old Shimla girl Gurpreet Kaur (Gippi) in that title role, portrayed by Riya Vij. She stays with her younger brother Booboo, played by Arbaz Kadwani and their mother Pappi, played by Divya Dutta. Starting from an impending breakup in the family - with her father, enacted by Pankaj Dheer, getting ready to marry another woman, she also has to face numerous challenges in her school life itself. To add to her trouble is the fact that she is overweight and self-conscious about it, unable to conduct herself with confidence, with some of her more aggressive classmates like Shamira, played by Jayati Modi, ready to bully her. Aall this, she falls for Arjun, her senior in school – a role portrayed by Taaha Shah. Things come to a head when she realizes in a party at Shamira’s place that Arjun does not reciprocate her feelings – a fact lapped up by Shamira to embarrass and humiliate Gippi further. It is at this juncture that Gippi decides to plunge headlong to take up her numerous challenges – not the least being her decision to fight the school elections with Shamira to start the battle ahead of her. How Gippi wins the battle is not a grim story with shattering reverses – it is full of fun, good food, and enjoyment - the way Gilli always wanted to but was never sure.
Review: With a host of new teenaged actors showcased in the movie, while all of them perform adequately, none of them are outstanding, nor do their roles demand a tremendous amount of histrionics, except perhaps to look their roles. Out of the whole bunch, Jayati Modi as the mean girl Shamira gets the opportunity to force her presence, thanks to the extreme nature of her character in the movie. For having attempted a film targeted for he teens, director Sonam Nair deserves kudos for taking up the challenge knowing full well that it may not appeal to adults at all, given its theme. At the same time, some would argue that it could have been made for a wider audience taking a leaf out of “Student of the Year.”
Verdict: The movie already has a declared target audience – the teen generation – and would surely appeal to this group as it speaks and behaves more in their typical language.
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