“Big Girls Don’t Cry: Young, Wild, and a cutely compelling series” – A Subhash K Jha Review

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Beyond Riverdale and the Archies there is this boarding school for girls Vandana Valley. It won’t be erroneous to call it The Valley Of the dolls.

The girls in the boarding school are young vivacious…, or perhaps, bindaas would be a better word… I am sure the young ladies of this cutely compelling series would like to known as bindaas.

Here’s a world so bindaas that the girls are allowed to check out boys’ …you know the world that rhymes with bindaas?

Ok ok. I am being coy. These teenaged pleasure seekers would probably think restrain to be sign of incorrigible fuddy-duddy-ness. But here is the thing: Big Girls Don’t Cry is not just an alibi for bad behaviour.

These girls are no rebels with a cause. They just won’t to be recognized for what they are, good, bad or lesbian. Yes, there is a strong same-sex angle, which is not allowed to be smothered in self congratulations. Sure, big girls don’t cry. But these are wildly emotional girls, nevertheless, who speak the lingo of the today’s kids. The dialogues (Adwitiya Kereng Das, Sunayana Kumari, Radhika Malhotra, Nitya Mehra, Sudhanshu Saria) are crammed with contemporary colloquialisms but they don’t strain for realism.

Then overall effect is curiously candyfloss (with the focus on good looks everywhere) merged with mindgames that allow the girls to grow even as they are continuously constrained by their natural desires.

It is a beautiful series to look at; so pretty are the faces and the locations (oh yes, the goddamned locations reek of prohibitive budgets) that you often wonder if this is all for real.

As Javed Akhtar once said about people’s perception of Aishwarya Rai Bachchan: ‘Chal jhoothi koi itni khubsoorat ho sakta hai kiya?’

Speaking of Javed, I am reminded of his daughter Zoya Akhtar who came up with a clanger last year The Archies which covered the same territory as Big Girls Don’t Cry. There, every shot looked like a set even when the location shifted to a real park.

The tussle between rustle and muscle, between wispiness and weight, is smoothly resolved in BGDC (Big Girls Don’t Cry, duh). The pull and push of The Look and The Soul is never allowed to come in the way of what these girls want. A good time.

These boarding school bombshells make you wonder: are they shallow or just pretending to be, you know, to fit in? The vast cast of youngsters and seniors feature some lovely faces of both genders. And yes, the actors are not apologetic about their looks.

I have to admit that some portions of the series tends to get somewhat underwritten and hence undernourished. Rest assured, the interruptions in the nubile narration are short and excusable. Big Girls Don’t Cry is a huge fun to watch. No one is in this to change the world. Not even to change themselves. The girls , even the timid outsider Kavya, are comfortable in their own skin.

I suspect we will see a lot more of some of these girls in the future. No, I am telling which ones. Let’s not spoil the fun.

The title of the series comes from a song by Fergie. Before leaving these girls to their own devices (emotional or mechanical) I would just like to say in their defence: Fergie-ve them, they know not what they do.

Our Rating

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