Why you should watch Angry Indian Goddesses

Pan Nalin's film is the female buddy movie you have been waiting for

Sonal Pandya

Writer-director Pan Nalin's Angry Indian Goddesses, starring Sarah-Jane Dias, Sandhya Mridhul, Tannishtha Chatterjee and Anushka Manchanda, is making waves internationally and due to release on 4 December 2015. The film had its world premiere at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) where it was the first runner up to Lenny Abrahamson's Room (2015) for the Grolsch People's Choice Award. The award is voted upon by the TIFF filmgoers and holds a special status for those seeking an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture. Past winners of the TIFF People's Choice Award include 12 Years A Slave (2013), The King's Speech (2010), Slumdog Millionaire (2008) and American Beauty (1999).

Angry Indian Goddesses had its Indian premiere at the 2015 Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival and that same week, picked up the BNL People's Choice Award at the 10th Rome Film Festival where it received an eight-minute standing ovation. Touted as India's first female buddy movie, the film features seven strong lead roles for its female actors which is rarity in Hindi cinema. Along with the aforementioned actors, Amrit Maghera, Pavleen Gujral and Rajshri Deshpande are also part of the cast. Nalin wrote the film on exhaustive research he did with his team on the issues which affect women in India. He also allowed the actors to contribute to the film's screenplay with their interpretation on their characters.

The screenplay follows a impromptu reunion in Goa when Frieda, played by Dias, assembles her closest female friends and family for a life-changing event. It is refreshing to see female actors onscreen discuss more than just the problems with men, it's safe to say that Angry Indian Goddesses passes the Bechdel test with flying colours many, many times. The few male actors in the film are treated as heroines, with minimal dialogue and backstory. The focus is squarely on its female leads, as it should be. Recent Hindi films, even those made by female directors, have put the spotlight too much on male bromances and bonding. The audience nowadays, a large part which is made up of women, have few instances to watch realistic depictions of themselves onscreen. Angry Indian Goddesses fills in all those gaps and more.