Big Girls Don't Cry review: A Gen Z, coming of age tale of sisterhood with a millennial beating heart!

Sakshi Sharma
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Big Girls Don't Cry

Big Girls Don't Cry

Big Girls Don't Cry review: With no huff and puff, this coming-of-age drama about girlhood is relatable and accurate but is too scattered to be memorable and impactful! 

Apart from Mismatched and Class, with TVF and Dice Media shows dominating the scene, it's hard to find a space in the hearts of the young audience with a relatable young adult show. Fortunately for Big Girls Don't Cry, aka BGDC, there still aren't enough stories out there that are focused on telling the tale of sisterhood or girls coming of age. Hence, even though the show doesn't find its firm footing, and is too simple for its heavy handed issues, it's a great start towards representing both onscreen! 

With seven episodes of 50 minutes each, BGDC is like a 'Four More Shots Please' version, without too much splash, glamor, drama, and sex. Mocking the usual cliche of teen shows, the show opens in Vandana Valley School with the trope of a new scholarship student in, Kavya Yadav (Vidushi) who comes from a poor background and she is dealing with high-class snobbish brats and trying to fit in with the system while rebelling against it. But this show quickly shifts gears and tells you that there is no single protagonist; everyone matters! 

This refreshing approach of multiple protagonists allows the show to focus on various themes and not one individualistic journey. The BGDC cool gang includes Leah Joseph aka Ludo (Avantika Vandanapu), the basketball champion dealing with her sexual identity as a lesbian, Noor Hassan (Afrah Sayed), the nerdy junior school captain dealing with the inherent islamophobia interfering with her future and Anandita aka Pluggy (Dalai), the failed chubby student, busy writing an erotica novel, dealing with her desperation of losing her virginity. Then there are the BFFs whose bond is stronger than glue - Roohi Ahuja (Aneet Pada), the funny joker and Jayashree Chetri (Tenzin Lhakliya), the royal princess, both escaping from dealing with their family issues. And, of course, Kavya, who is pretending to be someone else to fit in and run away from her social status. Apart from this gang, there's also Dia Mallik (Akshita Sood), the rebel who spouts poetry and fight against the system and patriarchy. 

Also Read: Showtime review: The series shows the good, bad and ugly inner workings of Bollywood behind closed doors but lacks soul

The show borrows from the girls' innocent naivety and curious 'first time' to paint a journey of growing up and learning; the first test of friendship when two best friends get involved in a love triangle, the first experience of having an accidental rendezvous with psychedelics, the disappointing realization that sex might not be as good as one imagines after doing it for the first time, realizing the cost of speaking and when to speak, the first time of finding you own voice and standing up for yourself. Like these, the show is filled with many more firsts. The simple touch of the show with no phones, social media, make up or exploitative sexual scenes is what makes the series win in telling a teen story without being too dark, dramatic, or loud. However, BGDC falters with a mixed-bag tonality and finding a solid connective tissue to bind the entire ensemble with many themes together. Random narrative plot points stitched together and the friendship amongst the gang seems to be a convenient option rather than a strong bond. Hence, while the show offers a good sisterhood representation, it doesn't feel wholesome. 

The atmosphere of this hostel drama and the attention to detail with which this world of VVS has been built clearly depicts that the writers knew the ins and outs of a convent girls hostel well enough. The different houses, a student body council running the school, a social event where girls and boys come together, and boys offer girls their neckties to make things official among them, a secret house with all the luxurious amenities like junk food, kettle, and more passed on between seniors and juniors, calling juniors ‘machchars’, and so much more takes you back in time.

Each character gives off main character's energy but with the attention being shared by everyone and not explored to their depth, it leaves you wanting their spin-off show. Pooja Bhatt's character where she plays a strict, grief-stricken principal (inspired by Mohabbatein's Amitabh Bachchan) seems more like a passing-by adult in a teen drama. And most adults in the show suffer from this unexplored, too much on their plate trope. The hill top hostel here is a metaphor for being a jail, trapping young girls by killing their own thinking and molding them all into suit-wearing, perfectly disciplined robots. But this and the ultimate message of the show about girls breaking free to fly high is all lost in this rather scattered mess. 

With some incredibly lovely songs, Nitya Mehra, along with Sudhanshu Saria, Karan Kapadia, and Kopal Naithani, and thoroughly expressive and dependable new faces have built a show that voices out the complicated teen life of Gen Z's with a beating heart of the time of millennials where things were a little simpler. But in the wake of taking a vanilla rainbow-colored, hopeful approach with some Gen Z slang and art, BGDC  forgot that the journey of learning that big girls don't cry to big girls actually do is far more profound than this. This drama with a few boys (what is a girl drama without a few boy crushes anyway) is a sweet-cute first step but there is a long road ahead!

Big Girls Don't Cry is currently streaming on Amazon Prime Video

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