FILM REVIEW: SIXTEEN
Cast: Izabelle Leite, Mehak Manwani, Wamiqa Gabbi, Rohan Mehra, Highpill Matthews, Varun Jhamb, Keith Sequeira, Zakir Hussain and Prabhleen
Director: Raj Purohit
Rating: Three Stars
Raj Purohit’s Sixteen can be hailed as coming of age cinema at a time where the film industry is churning out innumerable pot boilers. At one shot, Sixeen re-visit the innocence of our teens’ and college days as I bet we will find lil’ bit of ourselves in the honest effort undertaken by the script writer, director and the actors.
Sixteen deals with the tribulations and challenges faced by teens as part of growing up. The film deals with changing hormones, adolescence crisis and the pressure exerted on teens. It’s about parents and children who know their respective minds. The dialogues are well written in today’s times and perhaps, the industry should write scripts that revolve around children more. This is what is lacking right now.
First, the actors are genuinely natural and confident and it shows in the film. It is the main USP with refreshingly talented young actors who exude charming innocence in front of the camera. Izabelle Leite is stunning as the ‘in your face’ Anu and is supremely talented. Wamiqa Gabi (Tanisha) plays the role of the confused teenager with so much ease while Highphill Matthews acts well and plays his part of a teenager who is fighting against his parents and society. Despite her accent, Mehak Manwani as Nidhi plays her part effectively. But, they are adolescents and one cannot expect the moon from them.
Director Raj Purohit should be credited for effectively exploring the theme of young adolescents and their quest to go for parties, getting everything done fast and pressure put by parents so that they come out successfully in life.
The film portrays different stories and at times, one has the impression of watching short stories interspersed together filled in a single frame. Raj Purohit smartly avoid the pitfalls and get the right package about the various emotions showed by school children. The best thing about Sixteen is that it brings a smile to our faces as we recollect our teenage crushes, rebellion attitude and clash with parents.
What doesn’t work?
Like with most movies, the secret to a good movie is its script and screenplay. It is the dark deep secret for the making of a successful movie. Perhaps, with a sharper script and crisp editing, Sixteen would have emerged as a cult film for children. Moreover, the pacing is another issue with the flick and had detailed attention been paid, Sixteen would have been way better. It lacks the ‘edge’ at times.
The era belongs to the young generation and movies like Gippi and Sixteen comes at the right time. It belongs to the young actors who are promising and the dialogues will remain on your lips throughout the two hours-something. Good effort.