‘We were not like this in our teenage‘- This phrase is uttered by almost every adult on the planet and heard by every adolescent. It is a matter of time whether you are on the former side or latter.
‘Sixteen’ is a teen drama dealing with the various facets and facts about the current teenagers. Set in Delhi, this is a story of 4 teenagers who are prone to different temptations and tensions at this tender age. These big-city teenagers take pride in consuming alcohol, smoking cigarettes and looking for the right time to make out. There is also another category of issues faced, where they are succumbed to the peer pressure to succeed in academics and win every challenge the education system throws to them. They eventually lead to dreadful consequences like suicide, unplanned pregnancy, MMS scandals and many more such destructions.
The best part of ‘Sixteen’ is, it tries not to be judgemental, but shows the perspectives of the GenX and the older generation. Another good point is the director has showed all the aspects of these teenagers and not just pin-pointing their wrong footsteps. There are some funny scenes as well as some startling ones.
Performances by Keith Sequeira, Wamiqa Gabbi, Mahak Manwani and Izabelle Leit are OK. Zakir Hussain was really good. Some songs could have been eliminated, which could have saved it from being a lengthy flick. This is Raj Purohit’s debut movie, who had once directed the very popular ‘School Days’ on Doordarshan more than a decade back. He has deeply understood the mindset of the Delhi teenagers and that shows on the screen. However, it might not go well with the general audience or audience in some parts of the country, because the story is very specific to the bunch of well-off-teenagers of Delhi.
Overall, the movie is a decent attempt and tackles major issues faced by the teenagers in some big cities and schools. ‘Sixteen’ is a good coming-of-age cinema, which deserves a one–time watch especially for the parents of the GenX, to get a sense of reality, and a right approach to guide their loved ones.