There was a time when director Madhur Bhandarkar used to make incisive movies like Page 3 and Fashion that perfectly depicted the fate of women in the glamour world. Then he made Heroine and people realized he had nothing new to say. For some reason, he decided to repeat the whole thing again with Calendar Girls.
Calendar Girls is basically an excuse to put five skimpily clad girls on the big screen. Ironically, the movie rails against the exploitation of women in the media, then what exactly are the makers doing with Calendar Girls?
Predictably enough, the movie tells the tale of five young girls (played by Akanksha Puri, Avani Modi, Kyra Dutt, Ruhi Singh and Satarupa Pyne) who land a big break modeling for a calendar. Things look great for a while before the five girls spiral into the cesspool of Bollywood, cricket and female exploitation in general. These five stereotypical girls go from one pitfall to the next as everything that can possibly go wrong, does go wrong. Twenty minutes into the film had us rolling our eyes as Bhandarkar began parading his favourite cliches on screen.
The five debutante actresses ham their way through all the drama and not a single one of them really stands out. There is a fine line between realism and melodrama and Bhandarkar seems to have crossed over to the dark side without realizing it. The film does show potential at times but it repeatedly fails to live up to expectations. If its realism you are looking for go watch Page 3, but if you are looking for skimpily clad women, Calnder Girls is the movie for you.
We will go with one and a half star for this movie.