May 12, 2013 / 11:34 AM / 5 years ago

'Gippi' marks rare coming-of-age tale for Bollywood

MUMBAI (Reuters) - Bollywood films have played on teenage angst before but Indian cinema has rarely shone the spotlight on a girl who stumbles through life dealing with the typical crises of adolescence.

Handout still from "Gippi".

“Gippi”, written and directed by Sonam Nair, does just that.

The film, which opened in Indian cinemas this week, is the coming-of-age tale of a teenager grappling with her weight, her first period, boys and life in general.

It’s Nair’s feature film debut and the 27-year-old said she used many of her own experiences for the movie.

“It’s shocking that this hasn’t been talked about, I thought let’s make a film about myself,” Nair told Reuters in an interview.

“I was fat and that was my big thing in life, so I wrote about that, and Karan (Johar) liked it and agreed to produce it.”

While Bollywood has explored coming-of-age stories in the last few years with films such as “Udaan” and “Wake Up Sid”, they have been mostly about male characters.

But Nair said growing up for girls was vastly different and that’s why she wanted to write about it.

“I thought I would write a film which I find amazingly fun and I don’t care if it’s not some deep, meaningful social commentary,” she said.

Riya Vij makes her Bollywood debut playing Gippi in the film.

“Every girl goes through this phase - it’s great that there’s actually a movie on it,” she said. “Gippi was insecure at that age and so was I.”

Editing by Tony Tharakan

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