Madhur Bhandarkar is known for his female oriented movies which are closer to life. Movies like Page 3, Fashion and Heroine showcased the dirt and grime behind the glamorous world. This week’s release – Calendar Girls is a continuation of his glamour world bashing movies but this one takes the cake and the bakery ;).
The film starts off with the introduction of Nazneen Malik (Avani Modi) from Lahore, Nandita Menon (Akanksha Puri) from Hyderabad, Sharon Pinto (Kyra Dutt) from Goa, Paromita Ghosh (Satarupa Pyne) from Kolkata and Mayuri Chauhan (Ruhi Singh) from Rohtak. Pheww! So many girls and difficult to keep track of their names and characters ;).
These five girls fighting all odds become the chosen ones for the annual ‘calendar girls’ which is one of the pet projects of flamboyant industrialist Kumar (Suhel Seth) – character inspired from Kingfisher baron Vijay Mallya. On the night of their calendar launch, the girls are introduced to the real world of glamour. They gather a lot of media and paparazzi attention and soon they sign up newer opportunities that guarantee them a great career and life ahead. However, as the popular adage goes ‘Man proposes, God disposes’, similarly the girls get to learn their lessons in a very harsh way.
Starting with Paromita who accidentally bumps into her overambitious ex-boyfriend Pinaki (Keith Sequeira) for whom her heart still beats, at a social function in Mumbai. They get together once again and she continues to love him unconditionally, unaware of his motives. Pinaki uses her as a honey-trap to do match fixing with cricketers for the cash-rich cricket league matches. Things soon take a ‘U’ turn for her and she falls under the radar of the cops.
Nazneen Malik on the other hand, is forced to return the signing amount for a movie she signed with a leading moviemaker because of the anti-Pakistan movement in Mumbai. With no options available for her, Nazneen lands up being a high-society escort with the help of Ananya (Mita Vasishth) who is a ‘broker’.
Sharon gets signed up by a leading talent management company. She soon gets to hear some fictitious and not so pleasing stories about her spread by the agency owner Aniruddh Shroff (Rushad Rana). Being a self-respecting girl she approaches Aniruddh about the same and slaps him in front of his employees. In turn he uses his might and power to ban her from the advertising world. However, as destiny has it, a chance encounter with a leading journalist at a bookstore gets her a job as a television anchor.
Nandita even before her glamorous filled life takes wings gets married to the scion of the wealthy Narang family – Harsh and settles down as a trophy wife while Mayuri charters her path to become a successful movie actress using her networking and PR skills.
The rest of the story tries to capture what ultimately happens to these glamour struck girls and would they be able to survive their destinies and become successful.
On the premise the story is quite promising however with multiple tracks and characters it becomes a typical ‘Khichdi’ doing no justice to any one character. Madhur like his previous movies should have stuck to one character and explored her journey while keeping the other characters as supporting tracks eg: Fashion.
Coming to performances, each of the new girls has done a decent job. Although female dominated, the male performers also get some meat to chew on especially Rohit Roy, Atul Parchure and Suhel Seth.
The music by Amaal Malik and Meet Bros Anjaan is a huge let down. Not one track stays with you after the movie is over. The editing by Devendra Murdeshwar and cinematography by Hari Vendaantam is good.
On the whole the movie might appeal to people who love Madhur Bhandarkar brand of movies. However, at the box office the movie might not recover its cost due to lack of big names in the leading roles.
My verdict: **