Time and again, cinema emerges out as one of the strongest mediums to invoke emotions that are not even apparent in most cases. October is one such example. A movie that revolves around relationships which are fluid, undefined yet strong. The lack of structured definition to the story, characters and their meaning to each other is maybe the most empowering components of this acquired taste.
The story starts with a group of 20-something hotel management trainees dealing with the grueling training days at a five star in Delhi NCR that soon takes a turn for the worse. During a Christmas party, one of the trainees Shiuli slips and falls from the third floor to experience a handful of near-fatal injuries. Here begins the endless waiting (for the characters and audiences alike) for her to get better and how that journey impacts her family, the other trainees and especially Varun Dhawan’s Dan.
Why I didn’t mention the nature of Dan and Shiuli’s relationship is because it is never defined in the film. Still, Dan becomes the last leaf to Shiuli and her recovery propels Dan to come of age in the span of four seasons and two hours of screen time. And it turns into a story of many feelings- unselfish love, duty, patience, longing, ambiguity and the overwhelming helplessness of life and death. Why he is so involved is anybody’s guess and is open to many interpretations.
The movie is shot so organically. Every frame is real, every beat of the background music hits hard and all seasons play out as the most effective storytellers. You will feel every bit of pain and bliss that the characters feel and the closure at the end of the movie is almost cathartic. It is not one of Shoojit Sircar’s movies that you have seen in the past including Piku and Vicky Donor but has the brand of cinema making for sure.
Varun Dhawan has been getting a lot of praise for his performance and he totally deserves it except for some scenes where his ‘acting’ might be the weakest link. I am left to wonder what would have become of this movie if someone else were cast in the same role. He makes some of the scenes which are supposed to be awkward unintentionally comical- and that did not work for me personally. The new comer Banita Sandhu has a huge task laid out for her to act with almost no dialogues in her first major break. And she does a brilliant job. The mother’s, played by Gitanjali Rao, is another brilliantly acted out role.
I would definitely recommend you watch this one. Maybe not in a theatre but at home on one of those lazy days in bed. It is not the first time that a story like this has been played out on screen- the latest one being Waiting starring Naseeruddin Shah and Kalki Koechlin but obviously it never got that attention because it did not have the youngistan’s heartthrob Varun Dhawan! *slight eye roll*
BTW the title and the flower in it have some relevance. Wait till the end of the movie.
Hits- Acting, The way the movie is shot, real characters, background score
Misses- Varun in some scenes, Screenplay
(Picture Credits- Wikicommons)