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That Girl in Yellow Boots

A young Anglo-Indian woman in Mumbai looks for her long-lost father while working as a masseuse.

With:
With: Kalki Koechlin, Naseerudin Shah, Prashant Prakash, Gulshan Devaiah, Puja Sarup, Kumud Mishra, Kartik Krishnan, Shlok Sharma, Shiv Subramanian, Divya Jagdale, Somrita Nandy. (Hindi, English, Kannada dialogue)

A young Anglo-Indian woman in Mumbai looks for her long-lost father while working as a masseuse in cult helmer Anurag Kashyap’s lurid and unattractive “That Girl in Yellow Boots.” Kashyap’s uneven talent for making hip indie pics outside Bollywood gloss (“Dev D,” “Gulaal”) is held up as a cutting-edge current in Indian cinema, but here he’s merely recycling low-end arthouse stylizations grafted onto a groaningly sensationalist script. Shot in 13 days (and it shows), “Yellow Boots” is made for ankling.

The plot could stem from a Mumbai version of “Law and Order: SVU”; Ruth (an undistinguished Kalki Koechlin, also co-scripting) works illegally in a sleazy massage parlor, offering to manually pleasure her clients, while her coke-head b.f. Prashant (Prashant Prakash) complains she’s frigid. She’s on the trail of the father who ran out years earlier after Ruth’s 15-year-old sis committed suicide, but her quest for a dad’s selfless love will lead to a ridiculously unsavory conclusion. The near-constant presence of the outside world on the soundtrack turns annoying rather than atmospheric, and lensing is awash in tiresomely grungy colors.

That Girl in Yellow Boots

India

Production: An Anurag Kashyap Films production, in association with National Film Development Corp., Sikhya Entertainment. (International sales: Anurag Kashyap Films, Mumbai.) Produced, directed by Anurag Kashyap. Screenplay, Kashyap, Kalki Koechlin.

Crew: Camera (color, widescreen, HD), Rajeev Ravi; editor, Shweta Venkat Mathew; music, Naren Chandavarkar, Benedict Taylor; production designer, Wasiq Khan; costume designer, Shubhra Gupta; associate producers, Guneet Monga, Shibani Keshkamat-Tait; line producer, Yogesh Tevatia. Reviewed at Venice Film Festival (noncompeting), Sept. 8, 2010. (Also in Toronto Film Festival -- Special Presentations.) Running time: 101 MIN.

Cast: With: Kalki Koechlin, Naseerudin Shah, Prashant Prakash, Gulshan Devaiah, Puja Sarup, Kumud Mishra, Kartik Krishnan, Shlok Sharma, Shiv Subramanian, Divya Jagdale, Somrita Nandy. (Hindi, English, Kannada dialogue)

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