redefines girly fun in Bengali films — and that's enough reason for a dekko
At a shade below two hours, Mainak Bhaumik's
Aami Aar Amaar Girlfriends
— part girly escapade, part quick-fix romance — winds up just as you're starting to miss
Sex and the City
. The schmoozy vibes, innuendos and I-don't-give-a-f**k attitude are there for good measure, but by the end of the film you're silently craving for the bitchy wickedness of the American show. The
trio (Swastika as Sreemoyee, Raima as Preenita and Parno as Rhea) are neither New York nor New Garia. They're more New Market or thereabouts. Which means they can have fun, but strictly Bong fun.
And the fun, while it lasts, is an unapologetic, ballsy harrumph of belly laughter. These girls, as the film keeps stressing, are not all sugar and spice and all things nice. They can play sex games, glug beer, shave their underarms, snort as they laugh — basically, do all the things that girls do but are never seen doing in a Tollywood film. And that's Mainak's biggest achievement. With
, he's given us a bunch of girls who are lovable because they love to shock and awe.
The film takes off with a breezy, benign look at the inner sanctum of the gang of three. Sreemoyee, a school-level counsellor, is married — unhappily — to Supratik (Neel) because he suffers from erectile dysfunction. Preenita, the upcoming author, has had a messy break-up she can't get over, while Rhea is the simpleton looking for the perfect guy to date. Their lives run in different orbits, but they always find time for each other, whether at coffee shops or on a seaside holiday. Crises come in the form of men. Sreemoyee gives in to one of her students, Preenita's old flame returns, while Rhea is rebuffed in love by the one guy friend who's always stood by her.
There's no tragedy, mind you. All three of them find love and happiness in their own sweet ways. Preenita's is the most heart-warming, as she discovers that her online love guru is no one else but her roly-poly neighbour, Subho (Biswanath). Sreemoyee's track is the most troublesome. She holds her marriage together on one big lie. Supratik has no clue that the child she's carrying is not his. Can this marriage last? The film offers no answers.
The casting is superb. Biswanath as the effeminate yet sensible Subho is outstanding, as is Raima. Swastika holds her own, while Parno's Rhea is a bit too saccharine sweet. But the showstealers are Neel as the gullible husband and Deboprosad as the street-smart Rick, freely dispensing advice on love, sex and all things in between.
The plot is a bit thin, the journeys a bit predictable, but there's enough in terms of witty dialogues and smart editing to hold it together. Neel Dutt's use of rock gels well with the theme of the film.
redefines girly fun in Bengali films — and that's enough reason for a dekko.