Calendar Girls movie review: Madhur Bhandarkar should just stop making films after this DISASTER!


Calendar Girls is an exceptionally bad film ever made. Consider yourself lucky if you don’t kill yourself after sitting through this ordeal…

The realistic filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar is back with another flick and is all set to expose underbelly of the glamour world. This film, as branded by the filmmaker, is high on content and low on star power. Find out why you must avoid this film at any cost.

What’s it about:

Five girls, Ruhi Singh, Avani Modi, Kyra Dutt, Akanksha Puri and Satarupa Pyne hail get selected as faces of the coveted ‘Calendar’. They are touted as the next-big-things of the showbiz. The Calendar happens and the girls are flooded with various offers. Each one starts their own individual journey and life happens to them. They encounter good, bad and ugly side of the glamour industry and deal with it on their own terms. The film takes us through their individual journeys and tries to connect the dots to give us a perspective on the industry.

What’s good?

Though Madhur tries to create a soul searching and path breaking film, he effectively fails. So, apart from a few moments (which last only for a few seconds) there is nothing good about this film. But even if you insist on watching it nonetheless, look out for veteran theatre actors like Mita Vashisht, Suchitra Pillai and Atul Parchure. Mita’s cold calculating gaze of a hawk when she persuades one of the leads (Avani Modi) to become an ‘escort’ is believable. Atul lightens up a few moments with his old-school filmy secretary act. You will genuinely laugh a few times when the tech-savvy Ruhi Singh preens and pouts continuously for selfies only to instantly upload them on Twitter! That’s it. There is nothing more to this film.


What’s bad?

Well everything. Anyone who has followed Madhur Bhandarkar’s brand of cinema (post Page 3) would know what to expect from his so called ‘realistic’ drama. One comes prepared to the theatres to see a grossly exaggerated, contorted version of an industry he has chosen. But absolutely nothing prepares you to sit through this drudgery called, ‘Calendar Girls’.

When you watch the film through its bizarre twists and turns, you come to only one conclusion. This filmmaker, has picked up a few ‘calendars’, read a few glossies, spoken to a two or three has-been Calendar Girls, took notes from some gossip columns and weaved a ‘story’ out of it. It is unimaginable that National Award winning filmmaker would envision a plot so obsolete, to portray the dynamic glamour industry. The irony is, Madhur, while ‘exposing’ the so called ‘dirty, underbelly’ of showbiz, exposed himself. You can almost feel his judgemental tone throughout the film. In a bid to make an honest film, he has shown his real side. Which is pompous and holier-than-thou.

You will not get over some unintentionally funny moments created by cheesy dialogues and cringe-worthy regressive scenes. Picture this: A family member telling one of the calendar girls to get married to a stinking rich industrialist because, her fame won’t last forever. The same calendar girl finds it nothing wrong to shun her career as a model to fit into the label of a ‘sanskaari bahu’. The same woman, happily slut shames any ‘other woman’ who sleeps with her husband. The pati parmeshar in question is of course is ‘too stressed out’ and hence is allowed to sleep around! I mean, who thinks like that? Isn’t cinema supposed to inspire and show society the way forward? Then, why is it considered okay for a man to sleep around in Mr Bhandarkar’s world and woman to feel guilty for doing the same?

Cut to another scene. Here, Madhur is playing himself. One of the calendar girls (Ruhi Singh), approaches him, gushes about his films and calls them real. This is another case where the filmmaker’s delusions and fantasies take over and his sanity dies a million deaths! It is like he telling us, I am so bindaas, so path breaking, so great. The whole act is an epic fail, and hilariously so!

Where is the Madhur who gave us Chandni Bar or Page 3? Well, I still cannot forget Tabu’s harrowed, vacant eyes with her whole bar dancer act. Atul Kulkarni’s intense performance would still send shivers down our spine. Madhur was hailed, back then, for making an honest, woman centric movie. And Tabu carried it stupendously well on her able shoulders. But after a couple of more such movies, the filmmaker’s attempt just looks forced and far away from reality!


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