The ApunKaChoice movie review of That Girl In Yellow Boots An Anurag Kashyap film is nothing if not provocative, unpredictable and bitingly real. That Girl In Yellow Boots, starring Kashyap’s wife Kalki Koechlin as a 20-year-old English girl searching for her dad in Mumbai, is perhaps the filmmaker’s finest work to date.
Those familiar with Kashyap’s oeuvre would concede that he has had a proclivity to lose himself in the skein of technicalities and to skew the story with his deliberate strokes to provoke the viewers. A kind of vanity of an iconoclast who loves to chuck the rulebook out of the window and plough his own furrow through a minefield of stereotypes has been apparent in many of Kashyap’s works, with the possible exception of Black Friday.
In That Girl In Yellow Boots we see Kashyap adopting a more balanced approach, though no less provocative. We see the work of a filmmaker who has learned to control his craft rather than be driven by it. We see Kashyap dotting the film with metaphors that fall together like the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle to tell a tale that’s as disturbing as unpredictable.
Needless to say, the protagonist Ruth (Kalki Koechlin) is shoved through the seediness of Mumbai, its dark and musty hovels and sleazy massage parlours and the characters that populate these claustrophobic dens, the goons, drug addicts, lusty customers, just to find the father she can hardly remember. It’s the story of a girl in search of love through a city that mercilessly tramples over her at every step of the way. And it’s the story of incest and sexual abuse of the sordid kind.
As is his wont, Kashyap pulls the rug from under your feet with a shocker in the end. And he is equally brutal in wringing out the best from the actors, Kalki Koechlin the most. She slips firmly into the boots of her character and plays the girl who shuffles through the debauchery of a cruel city with a hope that comes close to being snuffed out. Prashant Prakash as Kalki’s coke-snorting boyfriend comes up with a terrific performance and so does Naseeruddin Shah as her empathetic customer at the massage parlour. A special word for Puja Sarup who plays the motormouth receptionist in the parlour.
In a nutshell, That Girl In Yellow Boots is a class apart from the usual stuff Bollywood churns out every Friday. It’s a film not to be missed.