That Girl in Yellow Boots

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That Girl in Yellow Boots
That Girl in Yellow Boots.jpg
Directed by Anurag Kashyap
Produced by Anurag Kashyap
Guneet Monga
Written by Anurag Kashyap
Kalki Koechlin
Starring Kalki Koechlin
Naseeruddin Shah
Music by Naren Chandavarkar and Benedict Taylor
Cinematography Rajeev Ravi
Editing by Shweta Venkat Mathew
Studio Sikhya Entertainment
Distributed by IndiePix Films
Release dates
  • September 2010 (2010-09) (Toronto)
  • September 2, 2011 (2011-09-02) (India)
Running time 99 Minutes
Country India
Language Hindi and English

That Girl in Yellow Boots is a 2011 Indian thriller film by director Anurag Kashyap, starring Kalki Koechlin and Naseeruddin Shah.[1] The film was first screened at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2010, followed by the Venice Film Festival after it played in several festivals worldwide including the South Asian International Film Festival.[2] The commercial release however took place a year later in September 2011, both in India as well as in the U.S.[3]

Plot[edit]

That Girl in Yellow Boots is a thriller tracing Ruth (Kalki Koechlin), a British woman who comes to Mumbai to search for her father - a man she hardly knew but cannot forget. Without a work permit, desperation drives her to work at a massage parlour. Torn between several schisms, Mumbai becomes the alien but yet strangely familiar backdrop for Ruth's quest. She struggles to find her independence and space even as she is sucked deeper into the labyrinthine politics of the city's underbelly. She starts dating a drug addict Prashant (Prashant Prakash). A city that feeds on her misery, a love that eludes her and above all, a devastating truth that she must encounter. And everyone wants a piece of her. After numerous encounters with people, almost all of whom are depicted as needing to be serviced by her, she discovers that her father is one amongst her regular clients, who knew all along that she was his daughter. In what is possibly seen as a commentary on the cult of godmen in India, her father is shown as one such member of a religious cult, and views having sex with his daughter as an expression of his love. The film ends with Ruth hanging up her yellow boots, her quest having come to a shocking end.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

Lead actress Kalki Koechlin who also co-wrote the film with Anurag Kashyap mentioned, "A lot of these characters were based loosely on figures that I had seen growing up in India ...Growing up as a white-skinned woman in India, I was always the odd one out -- there was a certain alienation that came with that, and you end up alienating yourself because everyone comes to you like the white girl, the easy, "Baywatch," loose-moraled white girl."[4]

Anurag Kashyap asked Koechlin to write the first scene, to get a female perspective on the treatment of white women at Indian government offices as she personally experienced the objectification.[5] He also wanted to explore the theme of child abuse; he had previously played the role of child abuser in I Am (2010) by Onir, and he himself had been a victim of child abuse for 11 years.[4][6] At the writing stage Koechlin and Kashyap disagreed on the ending initially, as Koechlin wanted an optimistic ending, unlike Kashyap who wanted to portray that "...you don't always get solutions to your problems".[7]

The film had difficulty finding funding because it dealt with controversial themes like child abuse and drug addiction and "differed so vastly from his previous work". As Kashyap put it, "I wanted to break the formula that many directors and actors find themselves in."[4]

Filming[edit]

The film was shot in just 13 days. It was primarily framed in tight spaces, like apartments, massage parlors, and rickshaws leading to a "claustrophobic sense of unease that permeates the entire film".[4] Many of the cast members had previously worked together in theatre productions; this familiarity allowed the director to shoot the film a shorter period of time. He admitted that he never "directed" any of the actors during the filming, "I've never told any actor what to do, only what not to do. You have to trust your actors, and I know mine inside and out."[4] Director Anurag Kashyap found the entire filming emotionally draining and tough, especially because it was made mostly on borrowed money.[8]

Release[edit]

After travelling to 2010 Toronto International Film Festival, 67th Venice International Film Festival in September 2010 and International Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA),[9] at its New York premiere on August 24, 2011, at the Asia Society, director Anurag Kashyap said, "I hope you feel the film, because you will not enjoy it."[4][8] The film's commercial release, however, took over a year as it was delayed to coincide with its US release to avoid internet piracy.[10] Indian distributors were not keen on the film, as without big Bollywood stars they did not find it viable for an international release; they mainly cater to an NRI (Non-resident Indian) audience. Finally US based-distributor Indie Pix came on board for paving the way for a US release with 30 prints, all in non-NRI theatres, a rare feat for a Bollywood film. Meanwhile the film was also sold in Scandinavian countries, Turkey, Southern Europe, and New Zealand. Its satellite rights were sold in many countries.[11] The film thus became Kashyap's first worldwide release, as it was released in 40 US theatres on September 2 by IndiePix Films, on the same day of its India release. Previously, after its showing at the London Indian Film Festival, Britain-based Mara Pictures picked up the film there for UK release in last quarter of 2011.[3][12] Kashyap later told BBC News that he received a negative backlash from financial backers because of the film's sexual content: "A lot of people involved with the film were embarrassed about the film. A lot of people we thanked in the film who actually lent us money, they said, 'Please take our names from the film,' because they don't want somebody to see and say 'You gave the money to make this film!'"[13]

Marketing[edit]

Prior to its India release, the first look of the film was unveiled to the press on August 11, 2011.[14] MTV India started a "That Girl with Yellow Boots contest" asking for audition tapes from aspiring actors, the winner of which would act in future Anurag Kashyap's films.[15] In the run up to the film, its lead Kalki Koechlin appeared at an event, colour-coordinated, complete with yellow boots.[16]

Critical reception[edit]

The film opened to mostly positive reviews. Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-times gave it 3.5 out of the 4 stars, and he also noted that ' The film's value is in its portrait of Ruth, and her independence as a solo outsider in a vast, uncaring city. '[17] In his Huffington Post review, Kia Makarechi wrote, "an unnervingly realistic portrait of unimaginable pain -- is one with an ending you'll wish you could forget."[4] Nupur Barua of fullhyd.com rated it 7 out of 10, and said that besides the Kashyap-esque tone of despair and melancholy, That Girl In Yellow Boots is Anurag Kashyap's best till date, adding that you can watch it "only if you can handle the unspeakable".[18] Parmita Borah, on EF News International, wrote, "Kalki Koechlin carries That Girl in Yellow Boots on her shoulders and does so with great panache and élan."[19] Shivesh Kumar of IndiaWeekly awarded the movie 3.5 out of 5 stars.[20]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "That Girl in Yellow Boots: Complete cast and crew details". Filmicafe Media Inc. Retrieved 2010-08-06. 
  2. ^ "Anurag Kashyap’s film to be screened at Venice Film Festival". Indiatimes. 31 June 2010. Retrieved 31 July 2010. 
  3. ^ a b "U.K.'s Mara buys 'Yellow Boots': Indian pic toplines Kalki Koechlin". Variety (magazine). August 26, 2011. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g "Anurag Kashyap's 'That Girl In Yellow Boots': A Must-See Film You'll Wish You Could Forget". Huffington Post. August 26, 2011. 
  5. ^ "Kalki steps into Anurag's 'boots'". The Times of India. August 26, 2011. 
  6. ^ Subhash K Jha (November 11, 2009). "Anurag feels child abuse pain". The Times of India. 
  7. ^ "When Kalki disagreed with Anurag". NDTV Movies. August 27, 2011. 
  8. ^ a b "'That Girl In Yellow Boots' to premiere in New York". The Times of India. August 23, 2011. 
  9. ^ "'That Girl In Yellow Boots' first look revealed". MiD DAY. August 12, 2011. 
  10. ^ "That Girl In Yellow Boots to release, finally". Hindustan Times. August 5, 2011. 
  11. ^ "The Girl In Yellow Boots goes to US". The Times of India. August 8, 2011. 
  12. ^ "Kashyap's '...Yellow Boots' to release in Britain". Daiji World. August 27, 2011. 
  13. ^ Brook, Tom (December 2, 2011). "Indian film's love affair with fantasy". BBC News. Retrieved February 10, 2012. 
  14. ^ "First Look: 'That Girl in Yellow Boots'". IBN Live. August 12, 2011. 
  15. ^ "That Girl with Yellow Boots contest". MTV India. 
  16. ^ "Kalki Koechlin goes yellow". The Times of India. August 23, 2011. 
  17. ^ "That Girl in Yellow Boots". Review. Chicago Sun-Times. December 14, 2011. Retrieved March 3, 2012. 
  18. ^ Nupur Barua (3 September 2011). "That Girl In Yellow Boots Review". fullhyd.com. 
  19. ^ Parmita Borah (13 September 2011). "That Girl In Yellow Boots - a Review". EF News International. 
  20. ^ "IndiaWeekly's Movie Ratings". IndiaWeekly. Retrieved 2011-09-14. 

External links[edit]