Mira, a 16-year-old head prefect at a Himalayan boarding school, grapples with the early stages of patriarchy. She experiences first love with classmate Srinivas, but is torn between her social conditioning and romantic awakening.
After a secret encounter with Srinivas, Mira feels uneasy about his experience. She convinces herself that she is the problem, not him, reflecting her internal struggle with societal norms.
Anila, a young mother, returns to her hometown for her daughter’s board exams. She enjoys being around her daughter and lives vicariously through her, encouraging her daughter’s relationship with Srinivas.
Anila’s desire is destigmatized in the film. She enjoys Srinivas’s company and even allows him to sleep in her bedroom to keep him apart from her daughter. Her actions stem from a desire to feel like a woman, not just a mother or wife.
The film is a story of discovery and reckoning, highlighting the struggle of women in Indian society. The emotional budget for women is lower, forcing the mother and daughter to share the same story and hope.
The film’s title, “Girls Will Be Girls”, implies that no matter how hard society is challenged, girls are resigned to their fate of being girls. It’s a poignant study of feminism as more of a consequence than an act.