is one of those movies that surprise you at every reel.
The topic, is and will remain, forever green. The treatment by Raj Purohit is ''now'' which every teenager and parent will relate to. If you are a teenager on the cusp of adulthood, an older brother or sister, a parent or even an uncle or aunt; SIXTEEN cuts through gender and age.
You were once 16, at that very tender age where everything and everyone seemed against you, especially your parents; where peer pressure was a menace which looked like 'fashion' and where the topic of virginity was the only one that dominated along with boys and girls.
Or, you are now dealing with 16-year-olds!
Raj Purohit takes an uncomplicated route with a simple narrative intertwining the lives of four school friends and how they perceive life, love, parents and their surroundings. It also looks at life from the parent's perspective. CHECK OUT: Sixteen Song Lyrics
One teenager has his dad always hounding him, wanting him to be an IAS officer. The lad just wants to work in a Call Centre? ''What's the big deal?'' he asks his best friend, a girl. ''There's no future in this job,'' she explains to him. While he remains her best friend, he is in love with her, while she is in love with someone else. The reference to Jaane Tu.... (The Imran Khan-Genelia D'Souza) starrer is subtle and neat here in one of their dialogues.
Another is afraid to lose her virginity. ''I want to wait for the right time,'' she says. ''There is no right time,'' two of her girlfriends tell her. Under pressure both from her friends and boyfriend, she succumbs... at a friend's farm house.
For another girl, sex is just another thing, but when she realizes her parents too are in an 'open marriage', her world comes crashing down. And when an MMS clip of hers is circulated in her school, she is suicidal.
Then there is also this 16-year-old who feels she is cursed when in love.
Purohit begins the proceedings with a bang. Three scenes depict the outcome of what is to follow before he moves on to 'Six Months Earlier', where the story unfolds.
The casting is perfect. Izabelle Leite as the bindaas babe, Mehak Manwani as the girl apprehensive about her virginity and Wamiqa Gabbi as the one who feels she is cursed in love are all terrific. In fact, they essay their roles as seasoned professionals with not an iota of awkwardness.
Highphill Mathews as the lad who is hounded by his dad and shares a secret crush with his best friend, Rohan Mehra as the 'high on hormones' lad who just wants to 'do it' and Keith Sequeira as the author who observes the lives of these four are also first-rate.
Watching Zakir Hussain as the obsessed dad who controls the life of his teenaged son is a revelation to another facet of his acting. It only goes to show how type-cast our industry is, not allowing an actor to break from the mould he has been cast into. This was also seen in the other release of the week, BHAAG MILKHA BHAAG
, where Prakash Raj endeared with his role in the army, rather than screaming inane dialogues as a baddie. CHECK OUT: Sixteen Picture Gallery
SIXTEEN is a film with a young feel where the old will disagree with. I say disagree with because they have now crossed that barrier, and know that most of what they are thinking and doing is not right.
If the producers can have special screenings for colleges all across the country, their effort in sending across a message will not be wasted.
Get 16 of your friends and go for it!