Farah Goes Bang (2013)

Farah Goes Bang
Director: Meera Menon
Writer: Laura Goode, Meera Menon
Cast: Nikohl Boosheri, Kandis Fay, Kiran Deol, George Basil, Michael Steger, Samrat Chakrabarti, Lyman Ward, Kate French
Seen on: 5.1.2018

2004. Farah (Nikohl Boosheri) is campaigning for John Kerry, a work that takes her knocking on doors across the USA. She is accompanied by her two best friends, K.J. (Kandis Fay) and Roopa (Kiran Deol). Their trip isn’t all business, though. K.J. and Roopa think that it is the perfect opportunity for Farah to finally lose her virginity. Farah does tend to agree but is uncertain and doesn’t want to embarass herself.

Farah Goes Bang is not a perfect film but especially for a first feature film it is very good. Engaging characters, good pacing and interesting politics more than make up for the weaknesses of the film that probably stem from inexperience.

I am not much of a politics buff, especially when it comes to USAmerican politics, but I do know that John Kerry never became president of the USA, so it’s clear that Farah and her friends are on the losing political side. But delving into the campaign – one that took place so shortly after 9/11 – provides the perfect frame to take a closer look at the political hopes and fears of the time. Hopes and fears that are still very relevant today. The film is very serious about the good-faith arguments of Republicans and Democrats alike, while equally clear about its sympathy for the Democrats.

But all of these politics are just the background for the real heart of the film: the friendship between Farah, K.J. and Roopa. Here the film really excels, establishing all three of them as distinct characters with their own missions and motivations for their road trip, and also showing how good they work together as friends.

Farah’s wish to lose her virginity with a man has very little to do with men and definitely isn’t seen as a shortcoming. It’s just something that happened and now she feels a little awkward about it and her friends try to help. When she ultimately succeeds in her quest, the first thing she therefore does is to go and celebrate it with K.J. and Roopa. I really enjoyed that dynamic.

Like I enjoyed all of the film, even when it is a bit clunky at times, as can easily happen with first-time filmmakers. The film may not be flawless, but it is more than a promising first film: it is really good in its own right.

Summarizing: very enjoyable.

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