That Girl in Yellow Boots – Movie Review

That Girl in Yellow Boots is an Indian thriller movie, directed and produced by maverick director Anurag Kashyap starring Kalki Koechlin (Ruth) as protagonist. The movie was first screened at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2010. However commercial release was delayed by a year, both in India as well as the US. That Girl in Yellow Boots, co-written by Anurag Kashyap and Kalki Koechlin, a poignant story depicting struggle of a white girl, Ruth (Kalki Koechlin), an illegal immigrant in Mumbai, touches many disturbing issues of our society.

Kalki Koechlin (as Ruth) dominates every frame of the movie. Naseeruddin Shah (as Diwakar), one of the finest actor of India, brings value to the character he depicts. There are also wonderful performances by Prashant Prakash (as Prakash), Gulshan Devaiya (as Chittiappa), and Pooja Swaroop (as Maya). Kumud Mishra, Shiv Kumar Subramaniam, Markand Deshpande, Ronit Roy, Piyush Mishra, Rajat Kapoor and Divya Jagdale were very well fit in their parts too.
Ruth, a 20 year old smart white girl with her broken Hindi comes to India in search of her father without even bothering to tell her mother.

All she knows about her father is that he is a photographer who has a surname ‘Patel’. The movie catches up with her as she is trying to renew her visa in stuffy Mumbai government offices filled with crooked officers. She is a savvy girl who knows how to handle them along with other threatening encounters with other perverts whom she comes across throughout the movie. She works in a massage parlor to earn her living along with indulging in onanism, giving in to the demands of abysmal elements of society.

Her troubles do not end here. She also has a drug-addict boyfriend, Prakash who owes money to Chittiappa, a local goon, who in turn adds to the difficulties of Ruth. The only comforting factors in Ruth’s life are an old fatherly figure Diwakar and a loquacious massage parlor receptionist, Maya. The movie unfolds and ends in the most unexpected manner. The movie is a brilliant piece of work by Anurag Kashyap who tried his best to expand the boundaries of Indian cinema with an exceptional narration of a complex story.

It was not a regular Bollywoodish movie. The movie was just shot in 13 days in dwelling and never-to-seen places, which speaks a lot about the theme of the movie. Music by Naren Chandavarkar and Benedict Taylor seems to commenting on anti social elements at right time. Conversation between Chittiappa & Ruth and phone conversation of chatterbox Maya were fantastic took away from the darkness of the story. Only disappointment was the unnecessary addition of the scene – chaining of Prakash with window. Overall, hats off to Anurag Kashyap and Kalki Koechlin.

This movie gives a strong message about our society which takes advantage of a lonely girl at every point. As you delve deeper into the movie it also touches upon the disturbing and controversial issues of child abuse, drug addiction and state of massage parlors in India. The title of the story can be bit misleading but if you do your research then you will definitely appreciate it. If you like independent cinema, then it is a must watch movie.

Sumit Goyal