A few directors carry a certain aura to the films they make. Due to the quality of their work, there are so many expectations and you want to see a "freshness" through their films. The much-hyped Anurag Kashyap film- That Girl in Yellow Boots has the same expectations, aura and so on to it. Sadly, even though the film is technically sound, emotionally it is much disconnected than his previous works.
The movies, based on "realism" always carry some more weight to them, some more authenticity and the fact that they are inspired from some true events is always there in the back of our minds; this itself is where the director wins half the battle and the rest half is the execution. Anurag Kashyap movies are based on such realism and That Girl In Yellow Boots is another such chunk from the ghastly reality existing in the world. You wonder, what a movie titled 'That Girl in Yellow Boots' will be about but the subject it deals with is very sensitive and the name has no link to the subject whatsoever (well, except of course the fact that the protagonist makes a fashion statement while flaunting her awesome yellow boots).
A young British girl Ruth (Kalki Koechlin) comes to India on a quest to find her father, without knowing how he looks, where he lives or anything except his name which also he has probably changed. As predicted, this quest proves to be not just extremely lonesome and frustrating but also bizarre and shocking. Ruth, who in spite of being on a tourist visa, is surprisingly working and also manages to get herself a loser boyfriend Prashant (Prashant Prakash).
Now she is working as a masseuse just so that she can earn a few extra bucks to survive in this strange land but what she has to do is very disturbing. Her work is not restricted to just giving massages, she also gives the "shake-hand" to men and earns her bonus. Poor girl... What has she come to do and what does she end up doing! Dealing with a druggie boyfriend, the corrupt officials and those men who come to the parlour for things other than the massage, is all very disturbing for her but she has to bear with all this until she finds what she is looking for.
The movie has a very, very strong story. The problem of 'Incest' which has been prevalent since ages but coming to the forefront recently has been dealt with here but in spite of having such a superb and sensitive topic, it is handled in a very strange way. The movie brings up this topic only towards the end and till then it is just an attempt to show Ruth's journey. The topic is dealt with, on a very shallow level and even though technically the movie gives a very world-movie feel, it is not up to the mark.
Naseeruddin Shah's character is not explored sufficiently because of which it feels very abrupt. He, as the only "clean" customer coming to the parlour, is impactful. Prashant is apt in his role of the desperate, druggie boyfriend. The one person who actually deserves appreciation is none other than Kalki; she is brilliant and this is her best performance till date. She has portrayed Ruth's character very convincingly, especially when she breaks down and confesses of being lonely in this big bad world... Fantastic! The music of the film is a bit odd and it lends the film its bizarre feel. The lighting, the camera angles and the locations are superbly done.
What is lacking in the movie though, is that it doesn't stand up to your expectations. It feels long, and unnecessarily dragged. The climax is superb but the movie has ignored the whole issue until the end. As compared to his previous work, Anurag lets us down this time. Even though the direction is well done, overall, the entire movie fails in coming together; it is disappointing.