Big Girls Don’t Cry Review | Well-Written Characters in a Politically Unsubtle and Crowded Script

When you finish watching something like Laurie Nunn’s Sex Education, which spans multiple seasons, it is kind of possible to wish to see something of that sort in an Indian backdrop. Nitya Mehra’s new series for Amazon Prime Video, Big Girls Don’t Cry, is actually one similar attempt. Talking about the various emotional intricacies through which teenage girls go through, Big Girls Don’t Cry has a promising premise. But the crowdedness of the screenplay that wants to achieve many things within the first season itself is burdening the series, which has these scattered moments that are quite hearty.

Vandana Valley Boarding School is where our story is happening. It is that typical strict boarding school whose legacy of creating great students is the reason why all the parents want to send their children to this place. Under the leadership of Anita Verma, the school is doing fairly well. The story’s focus is on a gang of students in that school. They all have a different hurdle in front of them as they are nearing their final year in Vandana Valley. What are those problems and how they are planning to deal with that is what we see in Big Girls Don’t Cry.

It’s not just because of the theme that I dragged the Netflix series Sex Education into this review. If you look at what Laurie Nunn has achieved, there is a flow to the whole story of Sex Education that would almost make you binge-watch the whole content. One could easily articulate what a particular season was about because it wasn’t overwhelming the audience with too many subplots. And that actually helped it in making each character memorable. When it comes to Big Girls Don’t Cry, the writing feels a bit too episodic, and it almost feels like there are so many things happening within seven episodes. While some of the characters and their conundrums are utilizing the relatability aspect very effectively, there is a lack of flow from moving from one chapter to another.

The casting done for the series is exceptionally good. Every actor has done a really commendable job, and I would say they were able to register their characters through their performance. I will just list out a few names based on some of the characters that stayed with me. My favourite character was Roohi, performed beautifully by Aneet Padda. Roohi was this ball of energy who used that as a facade to cover many personal issues, and the actress was so good at conveying the bits where she is perplexed. Avantika Vandanapu as Ludo was also quite memorable in her character because of the graph through which the character is going through in the series (Anyone else felt a resemblance between her and KL Rahul?) Afrah Sayed, as the studious Noor, gets some meaty scenes towards the last couple of episodes, and she was able to score in those portions. Dalai as Pluggy, Vidushi as Kavya Yadav, and Akshita Sood as Dia Malik were some of the other memorable performances, along with the veteran Pooja Bhatt as Anita Verma.

In designing the characters, Nitya Mehra has definitely done a great job. Because there is enough information in the writing to give a sense of depth to each person’s hurdles. But the issue is with the packaging. The narrative is somewhere getting lost while it is trying to give space to each character. The cinematic high points they have designed in the series to show reconciliation, rebellion, and self-realization have a familiar nature. And that reduces the novelty of the drama in the story. And the way they have included themes of queer acceptance, feminism, etc., is a little too loud. The topography has elements that can complement all sorts of emotions, and they were used effectively by the makers to strengthen those emotional tracks of characters.

Big Girls Don’t Cry is definitely a worthy try to pull off an honest teen drama. But somewhere, I felt if the political connotations were a little more subtle and gelled smoothly with the whole narrative, it would have given the series an emotional high finale. With a fabulous cast performing interestingly complex characters in a crowded script BGDC definitely has the scope to work in totality if future instalments can handle the drama a bit more convincingly.

Final Thoughts

The crowdedness of the screenplay that wants to achieve many things within the first season itself is burdening the series, which has these scattered moments that are quite hearty.


Green: Recommended Content

Orange: The In-Between Ones

Red: Not Recommended


By Aswin Bharadwaj

Founder and editor of Lensmen Reviews.