Once upon a time there was a Bhandarkar film that drew cinema lovers, common men and women, students and critics and others and still many others into the cinema hall and leave with an emotion of ‘oh my god’ such brutal reality!
Fast forward into 2015 when the same director’s film actually needs him in a cameo and one of his characters (in the film) mouth, “Sirji, your films are so true to life and are reality-based”!
Could it get more pathetic?
Made on a budget of 90 millions, Calendar Girls, Madhur Bhandarkar’s latest venture is a shade or two better than a soft-porn showcasing women in bikinis, hot pants and even in saris with cleavage-cut blouses as objects of desire and titillation with a glorified prefix of ‘calendar girl’.
Five ladies- Nandita Menon (Akanksha Puri) from Hyderabad, Nazneen Malik (Avani Modi) from Lahore/ London, Sharon Pinto (Kyra Dutt) from Goa, Mayuri Chauhan (Ruhi Singh) from Rohtak and Paroma Ghosh (Satarupa Pyne) from Kolkata get invited to be the calendar girl of the year- though nothing is told as to the selection-criteria of these ladies.
Each one of them fights against their odds in life and leave to get into Mumbai and then onto Mauritius with their ‘magician photographer’ Rohit Roy who tells them on their first night that they must ‘ghul-mil-jao’ with him and the others. The man gets a high by hearing their kinky first sexual encounters! Yew!
However each of the girls has a different agenda up their sleeve, to embark on a career that will give them the name, fame and the pots of monies which comes along.
After the calendar is launched each of the girls go their own ways- Nandita is proposed to by a rich Rajput businessman whom she meets in a Page 3 party; Nazneen almost makes it into Bollywood, Sharon is a successful model, Mayuri a social-media freak turned B-Grade actress and Paroma a socialite and model.
It’s when life begins to take turns for each one or as Sharon would say it later, ‘give you choices to make’ that the grit, determination and mettle of each is tested.
Nandita’s marriage is screwed as she realizes that her lovey-dovey husband is actually a playboy and she has to reconcile herself to being the perfect wife- complains to his father dear results in his dad saying, ‘We have a big business which keeps him so busy, he needs some entertainment when on work. Does he not come back to you each night?’
Nazneen being Pakistani is ostracized from Bollywood and is caught in the cross-fire of India-Pak politics but chooses to warm the beds of the diplomats of both countries, just like her fiancée in London had predicted- how really predictable!
Sharon stands up to the rumors about her sexual escapades with her ad-agent and fires him not before slapping him in his office- but then no agency will touch her thereafter. She however gets on as a Pro-Journalist! Viola!
Mayuri charms her way around, thanks to social media, particularly @Twitter and even finds herself at shraad ceremonies for 200,000 as arranged by her secretary Mishraji.
Paroma bumps into her ex-lover boy, who re-ignites the flame, the sex, the scenes and draws her into the vortex of crime- cricket betting and vanishes once again from her life (like he had done years ago, because of which she had decided to do something and found the calendar girl platform as the best opportunity).
Five debutantes don’t say much as far as their acting is concerned but perhaps do rather well when it comes to shedding clothes, jumping into bed and faking an orgasm!
So how does this end? Don’t even bother asking- forget consider watching the film in the first place at all.