Double XL Review: Small, Simple, Charming, if a Bit Shaggy

Thank you for the watchalong that got me to watch this! It’s a very pleasant happy little movie, I’m glad I saw it. Not groundbreaking art or anything, but very very pleasant.

This is yet another body-shaming themed movie in Indian cinema. It’s at the point where they are common enough to be a genre, but still uncommon enough to be noticeable each time they happen. And purely in terms of how it handles the Body Shaming aspect, this is my FAVORITE.

The issue with most bodyshame movies from India is that they accept as a premise that people have to be “taught” to find full figured women attractive. Whereas this film flips it on its head and says they have to be “taught” to NOT find them attractive. To me, that is the true body-positive message. Some people are attracted to full figured women, some to smaller women, some to tall, some to short, some to blonde, some to brown haired. And plenty of people just find the person attractive, tall or short or thin or thick or dark or light. The whole concept of tying romance and attractiveness to one very specific look is crazy, especially when it leads into limiting people’s abilities in all area’s of life, even totally unrelated areas. That’s what this movie gets RIGHT.

What this movie gets wrong is pacing, dialogue, and a little bit chemistry. Good concepts, weak execution. But not terrible execution, it’s still a perfectly pleasant film, just more of a timepass watch versus a “brilliant and rewatchable” watch.

On the side of “pleasant” is the two leads, Huma and Sonakshi. And the way their friendship is developed. They have good chemistry together, they are a nice miss-matched pair of friends, and each of them individually is a charming character (especially Sonakshi, she is a delight). The songs are surprisingly good for this kind of small movie. And it’s not that long.

On the side of “not awesome”, the plot is super rambling. The dialogue just isn’t sparkling and it needs to be if we are going to enjoy spending time with these people in a not awesome plot. And sometimes it feels like Huma’s character isn’t quite as clearly defined as it could be. Oh, and the broad strokes of the character story are there, but the details aren’t QUITE right.

But does every movie have to be awesome? NO! Sometimes they can just be pleasant!

SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILER SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS

Sonakshi and Huma are two totally different disconnected women, both of them fuller figured (I’m not even gonna say overweight, they are just slightly bigger than the average movie star used to be) and both of them past 30. But in all other ways they are different Sonakshi is confident and sophisticated and urban and global and a fashion designer on the edge of success with a brother who 100% supports her dreams. Huma is from Meerat, still lives at home, and has little support for her dream of being a Cricket presenter from her family. Huma goes to a network interview and bumps into Sonakshi in the bathroom crying because she needs a director for her fashion shoot and a little because she just found her boyfriend cheating on her. Huma agrees to direct Sonakshi’s fashion video, so she has a chance to go to London and try for a second audition for her Cricket job. They hire shy Tamilian cameraman Mahat Raghavendra and coordinate with outgoing British based line producer Zaheer Iqbal. The two boys fall for the two girls, Sonakshi directs a traditional fashion shoot then decides to do one for all sizes, Huma is convinced to try to audition again and offered her dream job, they return to India empowered and happy and best friends with boyfriends.

I could have made that plot way longer because lots of stuff happens, like giving the Network chair (Jimmy Shergill!) the wrong audition video, and Sonakshi twisting her ankle, but really this is the plot. Two women stuck in life, meet each other, learn to pursue their dreams, and get guys who like them. That’s also the best part of the movie, that basic concept of female friendship and career/romantic success coming without needing to change yourself.

The trick of the film is that, both in career and romance, the two women didn’t actually have to try that hard. They did the work already, they have the talent, it’s just a matter of getting a fair shot. Same with love, they are already charming sexy lovely women, they just need to be out there so the right guys can find them.

So I guess, the fact that nothing happens is both the weakness and the strength of them? Still would have been better if there was an intermission twist and an ACTUAL obstacle.

2 thoughts on “Double XL Review: Small, Simple, Charming, if a Bit Shaggy

  1. Ever since I saw this film I keep wondering if I liked it because it’s nice, or because I have my hopes for movies so low that I wold like anything a little decent.

    Like

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