Big Girls Don’t Cry Review: Characters Steal the Show in a Chaotic Plot

Big Girls Don’t Cry

Ever finished a binge-watch session of Laurie Nunn’s “Sex Education” and found yourself craving an Indian version? Enter Nitya Mehra’s latest series on Amazon Prime Video, “Big Girls Don’t Cry.” This show aims to delve into the emotional rollercoaster that teenage girls often face, boasting a promising premise.

The story unfolds at Vandana Valley Boarding School, a quintessential strict institution known for shaping stellar students. Under the watchful eye of Anita Verma, the school maintains its reputation. The narrative zeroes in on a group of students grappling with individual challenges as they approach their final year at Vandana Valley. Their trials and strategies take center stage in “Big Girls Don’t Cry.”

The comparison to “Sex Education” isn’t arbitrary. Nunn’s series flowed seamlessly, drawing viewers into a binge-watching trance with its coherent storyline. Each season felt distinct yet connected, avoiding the trap of overwhelming subplots and allowing characters to shine. “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” however, feels more episodic, cramming a lot into its seven episodes. While some characters and their dilemmas resonate well, the lack of narrative flow between episodes is noticeable.

The casting deserves applause. Every actor delivers a commendable performance, breathing life into their characters. Here are a few standout performances: Aneet Padda shines as Roohi, a vibrant character masking deep personal struggles with energy. Avantika Vandanapu impresses as Ludo, portraying a character with a compelling arc (did anyone else notice the similarity to KL Rahul?). Afrah Sayed as studious Noor shines in later episodes, capturing pivotal moments with finesse. Dalai as Pluggy, Vidushi as Kavya Yadav, and Akshita Sood as Dia Malik also leave a mark, alongside the veteran Pooja Bhatt as Anita Verma.

Nitya Mehra excels in character design, crafting individuals with depth and complexity. However, the issue lies in the execution. The narrative seems to lose focus amidst juggling multiple character arcs. The dramatic peaks showcasing reconciliation, rebellion, and self-realization feel somewhat familiar, diminishing the story’s novelty. Themes of queer acceptance and feminism, while important, are at times heavy-handed.

“Big Girls Don’t Cry” is a commendable attempt at honest teen drama. However, a subtler approach to political undertones could have elevated the series. With a stellar cast portraying intricately layered characters within a packed script, the show has potential. Future installments might benefit from a more cohesive approach to handling the drama.

Overall, “Big Girls Don’t Cry” presents a promising start, blending complex characters with emotional narratives. As it navigates its future episodes, refining its storytelling could lead to a more impactful viewing experience.