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Turning 30

Turning 30 soon turns from a warm,welcome peek into that girl’s life,a girl we are prepared to like,into a series of cliches.

Naina is turning 30,and she’s all set for the big three oh: she’s practically engaged to the guy she’s madly in love with and she’s on the verge of big things at the office. And then,in the grand tradition of all chick flicks,most of which come out of the He’s Not That Into You and Sex And The City Hollywood stream,everything goes down the chute. She gets dumped. Her boss dumps on her. And there she is,this girl that’s 29 going on 30,manless,jobless and,oh yes,joyless.

Debutant director Alankrita Srivastava was on to something when she created Today’s Mumbai Girl Naina (Panag),a real flesh-and-blood creature with a real job and real preoccupations. And the perky Panag is the perfect choice to play a girl like that,whom one can bump into and recognise,not some illusory size-zero female whose only job is to act as a clothes hanger for demented designers.

But Turning 30 soon turns from a warm,welcome peek into that girl’s life,a girl we are prepared to like,into a series of cliches. It’s almost like the script went looking for every single line that goes with the territory and stacks them up,one after another. They are strewn all through the film,appropriately tacked on to situations they describe. “In this city,” intones the voice-over,“friends are family.” Cue Naina hanging out with her gal pals,exchanging confidences about soon-to-be-fiances,vicious bosses and straying husbands. “Just because I slept with you,it doesn’t mean I want to marry you.” That’s Naina having Rebound Sex with the Cute Guy From College (Kohli) who bailed on her without warning and is now back,wanting true love and marriage and everything that goes with it.

There’s more. “It’s not so easy to move on.” That’s Naina railing at her concerned girlfriends when they tell her to forget the jerk who walked out on her. She mopes and weeps and shouts at the fellow and his parents. References to sagging boobs and “chumming”,the token girl who likes girls (there’s such shock when she comes out among this gang of very hip people who don’t blink at pre-marital sex and serial affairs that you wonder where they’re coming from),the gay swingers at the workplace (of course,it’s an advertising office) — they are all there.

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So is this one. “I need closure,” says Naina. She gets hers. We get ours.

First published on: 21-01-2011 at 06:35:03 pm
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Yamla Pagla Deewana

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