Gippi is an enormously watchable film. Just like Mere Dad Ki Maruti earlier this year, it isn’t blessed with a great plot. Just like that film it keeps you entertained with its hold on the characters and humor slowly easing you into liking it. To be more precise, making sure you don’t dislike it.
Did you hate school? I sure did. I still don’t understand why my friends claim they “miss school”. I prefer what came after it. The film begins with Gurpreet (urf Gippi, earnestly played by Riya Vij) pointing out how she doesn’t understand people’s excitement on the first day of school. This is where I started relating to this film. When I look back now, I’m certain it is better to love being in school and enjoy it while you’re there but when was that ever the point?
You’ll find similar moments that will make you nod your head or laugh in agreement and you will instantly relate to the film. Like writing on your notebook to converse with your friend or coming into a class to distribute “toffee” to a teacher since it’s your birthday.
I said I don’t miss school, but I do miss the time, the people and being a kid. Our problems were simpler, our perceptions were naïve, our cocoons were safe. But never was any of it small. Our worlds were, in fact, larger in scope. This is what Sonam Nair captures in her film.
Gippi is not good at studies or sports and doesn’t possess (conventionally) good looks or popularity. Gippi targets that section of the audience that Student of the Year (2012) alienated. Since, that ended up being a major chunk of the audience, it makes sense why Gippi may not make big money despite being way more relatable. What people relate to is not always what they want to watch. Ergo, Gippi is as good and as bad as Student of the Year, but in different ways. I enjoyed Karan Johar’s escapist indulgence but this feels more Indian than an American high school film.
The film doesn’t get into the intricacies of what it is to be a teenage girl. But just look how stupid this statement sounds. Besides, why would you ever want to sit through a film about a teenager’s angst? Sonam Nair adds enough warmth and realism for it to be a film and not a thesis on puberty or obesity. Sure, it could have been about graver issues like teenage pregnancy (Juno) or changing yourself just to fit in (Mean Girls). For me that part was taken care of by a sub-plot of Gippi being raised by a single mother.
When we have films where conflict is mainly due to more important things like love or crime, watching a film about a girl wanting (or not wanting) to be head girl is refreshing. You may not appreciate the film or hail it as a piece of art but to hate this film would take heavy amounts of jaded pre-conceived notions.
I’d like to mention two more actors who made the movie feel sincere, Arbaaz Kadwani and Doora Tripathi who play Gippi’s brother and best friend respectively. Divya Dutta contributes the only known face in the pack and does what she does best.
Sweet, cute, innocent. I could throw in many words to describe this film but I can’t pick a word to criticize it. Rather, I don’t want to.