At 32, Kanika Kapoor has by no means had an orgasm. That is the central downside that the character, performed by an excellent Bhumi Pednekar, units out to resolve in Karan Boolani’s function movie debut Thank You For Coming. However the movie, which premiered as an official choice on the Toronto Worldwide Movie Pageant, is greater than a sex-positive comedy.
Produced by Rhea Kapoor and co-written by screenwriter Radhika Anand and comic Prashasti Singh, Thank You For Coming is a brilliant and unique tackle embedded patriarchal norms. The movie is just not precisely a rarity for modern Hindi cinema, however it’s nonetheless amongst a handful of takes on modern womanhood in India. The premise of intercourse and feminine pleasure is an excellent anchor to the story, certain, however it’s in the end a window into the lifetime of single Indian ladies residing within the metropolis, the place judgement and expectation run rampant, and decisions are so usually made for the sake of others.
What’s Thank You For Coming about?
Kanika is born to a single mom, a gynecologist who had a baby out of wedlock and is subjected to criticism at each flip. Her mom (Natasha Rastogi) appears fairly unbothered by society’s glare, however Kanika desires to take each precaution to keep away from an analogous destiny. So from a younger age, she’s a serial dater, in search of the validation of males and hoping to finally discover somebody she desires to marry, all set to energetic and suggestive background music. By three important however ended relationships, she stays unhappy (actually). Quickly comes her thirtieth birthday when she tearfully admits to her horrified greatest pals Pallavi (Dolly Singh) and Tina (Shibani Bedi) that she’s by no means had an orgasm.
Bhumi Pednekar shines because the star of the movie.
Credit score: TIFF
Bhumi Pednekar, Dolly Singh and Shibani Bedi are the movie’s core trio.
Credit score: TIFF
Quick-forward two years and her predicament stays. Her loyal pals are by her facet, together with Pallavi’s daughter Rabeya (Saloni Daini) who’s struggling, in parallel to Kanika, with issues of her personal. These points are alongside comparable strains. She’s a senior at school, faces breakups, and wonders whether or not she ought to sleep along with her male greatest buddy. With this storyline, generations of girls face the identical issues in numerous shades.
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Kanika finally decides to get engaged to her buddy Jeevan (Pradhuman Singh Mall), who has all the time been in love along with her. Her mom disapproves, wanting her daughter to reside something however a “tick-mark life”, the place ladies simply need to test off containers so that individuals round them will cease asking questions. On the night time of her engagement, Kanika events to her coronary heart’s content material, surrounded by her pals, household, and exes, clearly ingesting away any doubt she has for her upcoming, chemistry-less marriage. However the subsequent morning, she wakes up having lastly attained her unreachable aim…she simply cannot bear in mind who acquired her there.
Thank You For Coming addresses societal norms with humor and empathy
Kanika’s journey in the direction of regaining shallowness and shedding deeply-embedded notions looks like a long-time coming. For a lot of, this film will resonate. Thank You For Coming makes use of its comedic basis nearly flawlessly to color a wider portrait of a feminine group, feminine friendships, and a women-centric household. The forged wanders via every emotional arc naturally, though some moments attain melodramatic heights that would have been averted.
Anil Kapoor and Bhumi Pednekar in “Thank You For Coming”.
Credit score: TIFF
The movie’s portrayal of feminine friendship can also be nuanced. Although the buddies share loyalty and are, for probably the most half, non-judgmental and accepting, the movie’s climax additionally illustrates how patriarchal notions are laborious to shake. When chaos finally erupts, because it does close to the tip of most narratives, the writers delve into an argument that’s its biggest power: ladies are so usually and so shortly blamed for issues, by each society and generally even by one another. Forgiveness and solidarity are wanted for girls to persevere, which the movie’s characters in the end and basically acknowledge.
Not with out its flaws, Thank You For Coming ties its unfastened ends nearly too neatly, and sees its characters reaching resolutions in a montage-like fashion that arguably takes away from deeper message. However this does not take away from the film’s many core strengths: every little thing from the brightly-lit cinematography to the performances are undeniably pleasant to look at. What’s most sensible about it although, is its dealing with of themes like marital strain, societal criticism, and sexual disgrace and independence. Conversations about masturbation, nonconsensual porn, and sexuality are neatly woven in. If its objective is to function a feminist romp for contemporary India, it succeeded – and executed with enjoyable. This can be a welcome addition to the style, reinforcing that feminine tales need to be instructed with humor, mild and which means.
Thank You for Coming was reviewed out of the Toronto International Film Festival. It opens in theaters Oct. 6.