CAST & CREW
Quite a few films have been made on the subject of ‘coming of age’ as well as about the impressionable period between adolescence and becoming a young adult. While “ Sixteen” deals with the same basic theme, it focuses specifically on the problems of this age group with the advent of the internet era, and its all-pervasive influence on this generation of youth.
Plot: The young group in the film comprises all with differing mindsets and expectations. While Anu ( Izabelle Leite) is an open minded and ambitious girl dreaming of becoming a model, Nidhi ( Mehak Manwani) is far more reserved and traditional. The third girl, Tanisha ( Wamiqa Gabbi), is more balanced and holds a mature head on her young shoulders, having lost her parents in an accident few years back. The lone guy in this pack is Ashwin ( Highphill Mathew), from a middle-class background, and a doting father egging him on to become an IAS Officer. Soon, further characters get drawn. Kartik is the one who has a crush on Nidhi and wants to go all the way with her, quite against her nature. Similarly, Ashwin falls for Tanisha, but she makes it clear that she regards him just as a good friend. Frustrated, Ashwin ends up accidentally killing his father in a fit of rage, and escapes - but only to join a gang of criminals.
Events fly back and forth with all the protagonists feeling the heat. Going out with Kartik, Nidhi gets pregnant, and Anu gets sucked into a dreadful lot of bad luck, with even her parents seeming to break up, and her boyfriend misunderstanding her. Ultimately, however, a reasonable sort of finale is reached, with all the major protagonists achieving, at least, part of their goals, experiencing both the good and the flip sides of the internet age. Nidhi gets back to school after having been wrongly thrown out while Anu feels privileged for having been selected for a Miss India contest, and both of them accompanied by Tanisha visits Ashwin in the juvenile correction home with Tanisha for the first time displaying her affection for the latter. Not to be left out, even Vikram ends up with a nomination for the Booker Prize for one of the books he had written about his teenage experiences, entitled ‘Sixteen.'
Review: Although the characters of the film gel well and play out their parts very naturally as per the demands of the characters they portray, it is basically a starless movie and perhaps adds to the naturalness of its school going teen characters. It goes to the credit of director Raj Purohit to have used them adroitly and in a convincing manner. As Purohit has handled all the important departments like the story and screenplay, the credit should go to him for having creatively churned out a realistic display of teenage behaviour in the current hi-tech age, by combining several such episodes into one whole, without at any time the incidents looking disjointed. One can understand the compulsions of having songs in a youth-centric film of this nature, but perhaps he could have kept the number down to merge well with the flow of the film.
Verdict: No doubt it is a watchable movie and should impress youngsters as well those who happen to be their guardians, making them nod at the familiarity of the incidents when compared with their own real life experiences.
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