Review: Girls Will Be Girls (Sundance 2024)

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Title: Girls will be Girls
MPAA Rating:
Director: Shuchi Talati
Starring: Kani Kusruti, Preeti Pranigrahi, , Kesav Kinoy Kiron
Runtime: 1 hour 30 mins

What it is: Mira (Preeti Pranigrahi) is the head prefect at a strict boarding school. She greatly respects and utterly admires the rules as if they were her Bible. Her life changes, however, when a new student, Sri (Kesav Kinoy Kiron), enters the picture. Swept off her feet by the new boy, Mira begins to get in touch with her sexuality. Unfortunately, this boy seems to have caught the attention of her mother (Kani Kusruti) as well.

What We Think: What an awkward, awkward film, but I mean that as a compliment. This film brought me back to my teen years and I felt that it captured the awkwardness of real life teenhood perfectly. The quiet moments felt mature and real and added a curiosity and intensity to the plot of the movie. There’s a sense of teens having their first love and something inherently relatable about Mira’s exploration of her sexuality. The story takes a rather unexpected turn when the mother gets a little too close to Sri. The parts concerning the mom possibly getting feelings for Sri were very uncomfortable, but I think that was with intent. This movie walks a fine line, I felt, with this but it pulled it off. I will say I think that was a risky storyline to tackle given Sri’s age. There is a scene towards the end that did genuinely make me worried about Mira in particular and I thought that it was an extremely well written scene and perfectly conveyed the boiling point everything had been leading up to. There’s a mature darkness to the film that counteracts the lighthearted moments and it never lets you forget that Mira and her mother are in a highly restrictive environment.

In terms of acting, hats off in particular to Preeti Pranigrahi as Mira, I felt like her character had an amount of nuance and she did a great job conveying the subtleties that her character needed to go through. Mira could have very easily been an unlikable protagonist, but I thought Preeti added a certain amount of likability to the role that genuinely made you root for her.

I would say, in terms of pacing, some of the awkward pauses could’ve been taken out. Some of them did feel unnecessary and definitely slowed down the story being told considerably. Ultimately though, the pacing wasn’t enough to make me lose interest in the story, which was compelling enough to keep my undivided attention.

Our Grade:  B+, Girls will be Girls is a film with a lot of heart and accurate teenage anxiety. It does an excellent job of capturing the feelings felt in a first romance. Looking forward to seeing more work in the future from Shuchi Talati.

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