October in April ‘smells’ good!

OctoberTime 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)

 

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This ‘Baby’ sure can ‘Drive’!

Image result for baby driver

Every peace-loving movie goer, at some point in life, has to undergo the deeply disturbing times of watching a film with a yapper! It’s a not so rare breed of movie watchers who just cannot keep shut. They have a comment, a oh! a ye kya hai! on every scene. Well, we all have one or a couple of such ‘friends’ and we have to live with that. But why do I bring this here? I bring it here because something unusual happened. Something that I have personally never experienced. The yapper was shut. Throughout the movie (Pfft! That is not possible. Let’s ballpark it at 80% of the movie, which is a LOT!). And this movie did it. Baby Driver- a title that not a lot of people recognised, that is so unassuming but is such a brilliant piece of entertainment.

Revolving around the central character called Baby (I would not disclose the real name- yes you do get to know that at the end), the movie is about a brilliant driver who helps gangs to escape from their crime scenes. He is stuck in this shit hole for a reason. He has a condition in his eardrums which creates a constant buzz in his ears- because of which he listens to music at almost all times. And that’s how it is a pseduo musical with a genuine heart. You would not guess what is going to happen the next or at least how it will unfold. You will not be burdened with some sad back story. You will have a smile on your face throughout; obviously when you are not gasping! There are moments that you would not expect in this one. 

Music adds heart but the camerawork takes you deep in this world. Where there is thrill in skillfully crafted car chase sequences and where there is just romance in the air. You have this marvellous piece by Edgar Wright rated at a near 100% on Rotten Tomatoes because of the brilliant star cast. From Ansel Elgort to Kevin Spacey, Jon Hamm, Jamie Fox, etc. everyone is ON POINT. There is Lily James too but is slightly far off from the point in question. 

I have a feeling that this would be a title like La La Land- one that slowly grows on people and gains a cult following. A definite watch if you like cinema that is not too hard on the soul but also is not frivolous. 

Hits- Performances, Direction, Music, Camerawork, Charm
Misses- slightly less fluid tone change from the first half to the second

Picture Credits- Wikipedia