The Resurgence Of 'Mean Girls' For A New Generation

A familiar plot updated for the times with catchy tunes and knockout performances...this musical re-interpretation of a modern classic is so fun to watch.

Published On Feb 27, 2024 | Updated On Mar 07, 2024


While October 3rd would've made a great release date for this musical rendition of one of the best coming-of-age films made in last 50 years (yes, we said it!), we're glad the film is finally in Indian theatres during the movie lull of February. It took a while to release in India and it seems that like me there were many fans waiting for the release. A movie that essentially should be only for the girls and the gays, the cinema hall was packed with a diverse set of fans (age and gender no bar). I can definitively say that there's a thirst for musicals in Indian audiences, especially ones that are so well made and downright hilarious, no alcohol required!

The teen musical comedy Mean Girls 2024 is directed by Samantha Jayne and Arturo Perez Jr., marking their feature directorial debuts. Penned by Tina Fey, this movie is a lively adaptation of the Broadway musical, inspired by Mark Waters's 2004 comedy classic. It stars Angourie Rice, Reneé Rapp, Auliʻi Cravalho, and Christopher Briney, with Fey and Tim Meadows also making a return to their original roles. It's a super fun, fresh and entertaining take on Rosalind Wiseman's book Queen Bees and Wannabes and absolutely should be on your watchlist this year!

Musical fans will appreciate the soundtrack, choreography and energy-filled visuals of the film. And for people who find characters breaking into song and dance a novel concept, the film will be a good introduction into the genre. Because the story and script is familiar; it is an almost word to word remake of the highly quotable 2004 classic. And if you're one of those fans who can recite the film word to word, you will find yourself mouthing the lines with the characters, however in a different tone given that the new actors have put their own unique flair to the dialogue deliveries. 

The film definitely plays on the nostalgia factor to allow already established older fans to relive the story, but this time interlaced with catchy musical numbers. But newer fans who have no idea about why “on Wednesdays, we wear pink”, it's still an extremely enjoyable watch. It was nice to see some elements of the 2004 original being updated to fit the current times. For instance, the rumour mill now thrives on social media rather than spreading word-of-mouth, making the film a good study on how the internet has changed interpersonal relationships among the young!

Like the 2004 original, which turned its cast into household names  overnight, the 2024 remake has also nailed the casting for the film. While the whole cast carves their own presence in the film, I'd be talking about my two standouts for the sake of making this an easy read for you. Starting with singer and songwriter Reneé Rapp who plays the iconic Regina George. If Rachel McAdams revolutionised the high school ‘Queen Bee’ role back in 2004, Reneé has forever immortalised the character in movie history as one of the most layered, diabolical, and scene-stealing characters to be put on film. Armed with a set of pipes on her and a natural charm that comes with being delightfully unhinged in real life,  Reneé will be putting many butts in the seats for this film. 

Another casting choice that felt like a breath of fresh air is Avantika Vandanapu as Karen Shetty, my second favourite character from the original. Inaccurately labelled as “the dumb one”, Karen is anything but lacking intellectual prowess. She has her own way of looking at the world and as a neurodivergent person myself, I could relate to her character. Which is why the casting of an Indian actor in the role was a hilarious twist. Hollywood loves to dip into the Indian talent pool to portray their smartest characters on screen, so Avantika in this role might just break that typecasting trend. She's glamorous, funny and plays the role with such a lovely energy, I can watch her try to work an Instagram Live all day. 

Like the original, the musical remake also carries the message of being nice to others and living true to yourself. Which when decoded through thoughtful lyrics and character development is a worthy message to have in the digital age. The film never portrays anybody as a victim or the perpetrator; we're all just trying to do our best. Albeit the characters in this film are doing it in enviable ensembles and cute makeup looks that are sure to reign over Halloween 20024 themes. But all kinds of audiences can take something away from the film. Either it's a new Spotify playlist, their next catchphrase or just a couple or two witty comebacks, you've got to make a trip to the cinema to catch a showing of this new gem!

Photo: /InstagramMeangirlsthemusical