She is 14-years-old, conscious of her looks, aware that is she is just “average” yet content being with her close friends and having fun her way. This is Gurpreet aka Gippi but in reality she could be anyone – you, me, a friend… Sonam Nair’s coming of age debut is a sweet account of teenagers and growing up.
Gippi’s storyline is pretty predictable and has all the ingredients of a teen movie – a mean girl and her minions, the underdog protagonist, crushes and heartbreaks, friendship… a lot is quite similar to something you might have already seen in Hollywood teen flicks like Mean Girls, Bring It On etc. Even then, Gippi shows a world which is relatable and there are moments in the movie where you would definitely identify with. And that’s because there are no Porsche cars, short skirts and six pack abs, this one is about a school as typical as most of us have attended. It’s interesting to see that while Karan Johar last year gave us a Student Of The Year which many found too ‘reel’alistic to relate to, Gippi (it’s his production) although with a pretty similar storyline would definitely manage to melt your hearts.
A lot of that is purely due to the refreshing and enjoyable performances by the child artists. Riya Vij is simply adorable as Gippi and there is an earnestness and confidence visible on screen which is pretty commendable for a first timer. Arbaz Kadwani plays her brother Booboo who is a lot more interested in their mother’s parlor than she is. The camaraderie between the two is so genuine and fun, it would remind you of the crazy fights and times you had as kids with your siblings. Divya Dutta plays Pappi, their single pretty cool mom who wants to prove that she has raised their kids the best way possible single handedly. Dutta is a seasoned actor and her performance is nothing less than one would expect of her. All the other kids in the movie are pretty much adorable too. Whether it’s Doorva Tripathi (Gippi’s best friend Anchal), Jayati Modi (the ‘mean’ girl Shamira Chauhan), Mrinal Chawla (Kabir) or Aditya Deshpande (Ashish), each one looks pretty comfortable in their parts and yes, often endearing too.
Like all Karan Johar movies, this one is shot beautifully too capturing the soul of Shimla. Vishal- Shekhar’s music has always been worth listening to and Gippi is no different. For the dancey ‘We Are Like This Only’, there is a gorgeous ‘Mann Bawra’ which balances the mood of the soundtrack.
Gippi is not without flaws and there is very little originality to it. Even then, it stays close to being the feel-good movie that we all need once in a while. Take your kids to this one. It’s worth a one-time watch.