Written by the newly married couple of Anurag Kashyap and Kalki Koechlin, ‘The Girl in Yellow Boots’ is like a black moor fish, swimming alone in a pond filled with gold and koi fish. The girl in yellow boots is a story about an English girl named Ruth who comes to India in search for her father. And in her search she comes across the myriad characters who make you smile, squirm, make you react physically and verbally. The whys and the how of the search for her father form most of the screenplay, and it in these areas that the writer duo shines. The detailed shots are a joy to watch and, it makes you think about the possible symbolism of every single artifact which is in focus and even those which are out of focus. The silence in the first half of the movie forms as much as a part of the background score as the haunting and lilting rustic music by Naren Chandavarkar in the second half.
The movie progresses like the rising tide. Slow to begin with, and for those who don’t enjoy sitting at the edge of the beach watching the wave’s crash on the shore, the stark and almost documentary like Doordarshan production of the movie, especially in the opening scenes may well put you off. Watching this movie is just as hypnotic as watching tides crash on the shore. You are mesmerized, intrigued and almost drawn into this guilty, voyeuristic view of the girl in the yellow boots. The movie is dark in its tonality, but is punctuated with short, stellar and brilliant performances by Gulshan Devaiya as Chittappa, the kannada speaking gangster, Naseerudin Shah, as Ruth’s well wisher, Pooja Swaroop as Maya, Ruth’s employer and owner of the massage parlor.
The movie definitely deserves its label as a thriller, with red herrings peppering the screen, as Ruth continues your search for her father. And it is the way the movie ends that leaves you with answers and new questions of your own. This I suppose is what the director intended for the audience to feel as they empty their seats and leave the hall. There are many reasons why the director wanted the movie to be screened without any intervals, the movie’s runtime is about 79 minutes, and the movie has this shadow like quality which the viewer experiences, inducing a break in this experience would probably not leave you with the same impact as the director intends to and succeeds rather magnificently.
Indie movies are no longer considered indie movies anymore with the advent of multiplexes, but if the audiences want to support art which is not a rehash or a remake of something, then ‘The Girl in Yellow Boots’ would be a lovely venture to support. And be prepared to discuss the movie, especially the ending with your friends after you are done watching the movie. This one is for true cinephiles and for people looking for original and hatke stories.