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Big Girls Don't Cry review - Pooja Bhatt, Avantika Vandanapu-starring teen drama walks the tightrope of tropes

Big Girls Don't Cry unfolds as a canvas of complex characters entangled in a convoluted plot, painting a vivid picture of teenage drama and ambition.

Big Girls Don't Cry review - Pooja Bhatt, Avantika Vandanapu-starring teen drama walks the tightrope of tropes
Big Girls Don't Cry

Last Updated: 09.01 AM, Mar 14, 2024

Big Girls Don't Cry story:

Kavya Yadav (Vidushi) arrives at the Vandana Valley all-girls boarding school with big dreams of making friends and thriving in life, but she is in for a rude awakening. As for our BGDC gang, they are preparing for their senior year with the full goal of dominating campus. Noor (Afrah Sayed) is aiming for the position of school captain, whereas Ludo (Avantika Vandanapu) is interested in being a sports team captain. While Pluggy (Dalai) presents her own ambitious idea, Roohi (Aneet Padda) and JC (Tenzin Lhakyila) are determined to make their beauty business a smashing success. And then there's Dia (Akshita Sood), the defiant poet, who plans to bolt from the classroom as soon as classes start. As a new semester starts at Vandana Valley Girls School, they get ready for all this and more excitement, romance, and tragedy.

Big Girls Don't Cry review:

There's something about teenage dramas; there are a few older ones that still exude charm after so many years. Even if there are unrealistic happenings, you make peace with them. However, the new titles lack the charm and essence of what you grew up watching. Over the years, we've seen movies and TV shows about teenagers set against their school. In uniform, they make their own rules and break many created by others. Big Girls Don't Cry thrived on that entirely, but it was hard to resonate with what they were trying to portray in the seven-episode-long series.


With a bunch of newbies coming together, their individual stories do catch your attention, but overall, Vandana Valley Girls School is such a world that reeks of elitism, but you still feel Karan Johar did it better with Kuch Kuch Hota Hai and Student of the Year.

Big Girls Don't Cry begins with a dissident Dia (Akshita Sood) leaping the school wall while a fresh student, Kavya Yadav (Vidushi), arrives in the world that she ultimately has to belong to. Meanwhile, long-lost friends cosy up with their gang, vying for control of the Vandana Valley campus and the coveted secret shed as they enter the senior year. The series progressively introduces us to the leading characters and their traits (purposes to serve).

The girl gang keeps on insisting to each other that big girls don't cry and scream sisterhood in every step possible. But as they prepare themselves for the outside world, they gear up to create excitement and romance, bracing themselves for a bit of a tragedy in the school itself.  

However, the main issue arises when trying to execute an elaborate narrative. Viewers must patiently anticipate the close-knit friendship, identity crisis, and rebelliousness that defy the major cover-up designed to extend the series.

When you have all-girl students in a strict elite school, you need a principal who believes in "parampara, pratishtha, and anushaasan." An exceptional Pooja Bhatt portrays Anita Verma, who arrives a little late in the show, making her entry even more worth the wait. However, as the series progresses, viewers realise that she is there to enforce the unbreakable rules and the expected consequences.

Dia, after returning to school and pleading to be expelled, must now endure completing the school year in the place she detests the most. It's something you expect from a student like her, and you get to watch it. Well, that's also some kind of twist, I must say! The good moments I am referring to involve the drama surrounding the school event, which adds layers of complexity to the overall storyline, with Dia playing a central role. Her storyline compelled me to watch the entire series to see what she would do next.

On the other hand, the BGDC girls get together and plot plans to prove their sisterhood every now and then. I often question the necessity and purpose of certain tracks, as well as how omitting them could have saved a lot of time.

One of the weakest episodes was the fourth one with the name Phir bhi udd gaye, in which, as they venture out into nature for their class camping trip, the girls reveal secrets and put their characters to the test. Amid that, we see that an enigmatic outsider (Dolly Ahaluwalia) prepares a feast for them filled with "funny" berries, leaving them high and hallucinating throughout the episode.

The girls played by Avantika Vandanapu, Aneet Padda, Akshita Sood, Dalai, Vidushi, Tenzin Lhakyila, and Afrah Sayed deliver performances that do justice to the characters written for them. It's a good thing their performance overpowers the script-to-screen translation, but still, they could have served better arcs per se. 

Two characters apart from Dia that stood out for me were Avantika Vandanapu as Leah Joseph, aka Ludo, and Afrah Sayed as Noor. Both face identity crises throughout the series, and the way they deal with them is what makes them work really nicely on the screen. Ludo's confusion and testing period of bravery make her a confused yet enigmatic character. But what left a lasting impression was the lack of a definitive conclusion for her character. On the other hand, Noor wants to drop her last name because of her family and fears that she might not join the Ivy League because of her religion. Bravo for highlighting this issue and depicting the crucial representation accurately.

Nitya Mehra, Karan Kapadia, Kopal Naithani, and Sudhanshu Saria came together and created Big Girls Don't Cry. However, you still anticipate them to resonate, spanning nearly seven hours with numerous instances that, at first glance, may be valued for their sisterhood theme, although we have seen more effective executions that steer clear of being overly didactic in the realm of teenage narratives.

To be honest, it made me feel like I was watching another round of Made in Heaven, but in boarding school.

Big Girls Don't Cry verdict:

A tapestry that is both bright and ragged at the edges, Big Girls Don't Cry weaves between the discordant chords of melodrama and the high notes of youth. The series, like its protagonists, struggles with an identity crisis—caught between the elitist shadows of Vandana Valley and the nostalgia of teenage rebellions—despite the ensemble's energetic performance.


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