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The Good Girl review: Breaks stereotypes, creating space for female solidarity

Release Date: 2020

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Sukhpreet Kahlon

Starring Plabita Borthakur and Gurdeep Kohli, the short film presents an ideal mother-daughter relationship.

It is a well-known fact that the perpetrators of patriarchy are often women. But wouldn’t it be wonderful if, instead of enforcing the patriarchal order, women stood by and supported one another to counter patriarchy? Ritesh Menon’s short film The Good Girl explores a potentially explosive situation, imagining its outcomes to be quite different from what one has come to expect.

Appu (Plabita Borthakur), a young woman, is anxiously awaiting the result of her pregnancy test in her bathroom. Her mother (Gurdeep Kohli) bursts in to do the laundry and starts talking about the father being elated about the daughter’s career choice and how proud he is of his ‘good girl’. He is even planning a party to celebrate the success of the daughter. But when the mother finds the pregnancy test stick, Appu braces herself for the worst.

The Good Girl refers to the expectations heaped upon daughters by their parents to conform to societal norms. Any deviation from the straight and narrow is simply unacceptable. Appu apologizes to her mother, saying she isn’t their good girl, having let them down. The mother, though furious, decides to be a responsible parent.

The film presents two scenarios: one that is the traditional, expected response by the mother when she hears about her daughter having had premarital sex, and the other is the actual response the mother has. She talks to her daughter about responsibility, the importance of sexual consent and the agency that one has to determine one’s future. She also shares the ways in which she is relegated to the background by her husband and, perhaps for the first time, the daughter sees her mother as a woman, trying to navigate her relationship with her husband.

Celebrating the bond between a mother and daughter, this short film presents the attitudes that parents need to adopt and the manner in which they should communicate to their children about being responsible adults.


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