Angry Indian Goddesses is a 2015 Indian Hindi drama film, directed by Pan Nalin and produced by Gaurav Dhingra and Pan Nalin under the banner ‘Jungle Book Entertainment’ presentation. It stars Sandhya Mridul, Tannishtha Chatterjee, Sarah-Jane Dias, Anushka Manchanda, Amrit Maghera, Rajshri Deshpande, and Pavleen Gujral with Adil Hussain. It was screened in the Special Presentations section of the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival, where it finished second for the People’s Choice Award.
Freida (Sarah-Jane Dias) is a fashion photographer who invites a group of friends to her family’s home to announce her marriage. The group consists of Madhurita or Mad (Anushka Manchanda), a Bollywood singer, Pamela Jaswal or Pammy (Pavleen Gujral), a trophy wife, Suranjana or Su (Sandhya Mridul), a businesswoman, and Joanna or Jo (Amrit Maghera), an aspiring actress. Nargis (Tannishtha Chatterjee), an activist, later joins the party. The announcement sets off a chain of reactions, letting out hidden secrets from all of the girls. Freida explains that her father will not join her for the wedding, and Mad’s boyfriend, who comes looking for her, explains that she is depressed and suicidal. After the announcement, the girls from all over India descends upon Goa. Thus begins an impromptu bachelorette party, and the girls begin to bond.
Everything’s set for a night of celebration. There’s only one issue: Frieda won’t say who her betrothed is. As they banter their way through celebration, their conversation, derived entirely from improvisations among the actors, covers everything from sex to street harassment to the buff (and often shirtless) next-door neighbour.
During the trip, the women are harassed and they react boldly. Their harassers are enraged and they are shaken. As the holiday progresses, we become acquainted with the women’s dreams, desires, fears and, above all, their unwavering bond with one another. Later, the ladies learn that Freida will marry Nargis (which was illegal under the IPC section 377 until 6 September 2018). A night before the marriage, the group decides to have a picnic on the beach. At the picnic, a heated argument between Jo and the rest of the group regarding her accent leads Jo to walk out, but the party continues till late in the night. When they decide to go home, they look about for Jo. She is found dead on the beach, apparently raped. The doctor, who arrives in the ambulance, refuses to remove her before the police come as she is already dead. The police reach shortly and the police officer in charge (Adil Hussain) conducts his preliminary inquiries in a manner that shames the women, reiterating their lack of faith in a patriarchal society that treats women shabbily. They return home, distraught and frustrated.
Su’s daughter Maya had followed Jo when she left the party and took photos of her subsequently. The pictures reveal that it is the group of men who had harassed the friends earlier that raped and killed Jo. Su heads back to the beach with a gun. The rest of the group chases after her. Su shoots 3 of the rapists before Nargis stops her, Mad takes the gun and kills the other two. At Jo’s funeral, the group makes a series of sentimental speeches, Nargis’ speech summarizing the worth of a woman and hopes that in the next lives of women, they would be able to write their own stories. The police officer interrupts the ceremony, asking for a confession of guilt from the women and wanting them to stand up. The story has an open-ended conclusion with the entire congregation in the church standing up in solidarity with the women.
Sarah-Jane Dias as Freida De Silva, a fashion photographer and the bride
Tannishtha Chatterjee as Nargis Nasreen, a revolutionary who is adversaries with Su
Anushka Manchanda as Madhurita aka “Mad”, a Bollywood singer and friend of Freida
Sandhya Mridul as Suranjana aka “Su”, a businesswoman and mother of 6-year-old Maya
Amrit Maghera as Joanna Mendes aka “Jo”, an aspiring actress and cousin of Freida
Rajshri Deshpande as Lakshmi, Freida’s maid
Pavleen Gujral as Pamela Jaiswal aka ‘Pammy’, a gold medalist turned housewife
Arjun Mathur as Zain, Madhurita’s boyfriend
Adil Hussain as a Goa Police Superintendent
Jeffrey Goldberg as Chris
Vikram Kochhar as an agent
Anuj Choudhary as the neighbor.
Rajesh Karekar as Tony
Dr. Swapnil Salkar as the doctor
Kkunal Shinde as a voice over artist.
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