Shoojit Sircar’s “October,” says a lot without saying much. A story not ornamented with heavy doses of actions, romantic ballads, or shimmering dance moves. Yes, it’s a film about love but it does not sugar- coat the harsh realities of lives but it encourages us to love our flawed, imperfect relationships if at all you call the thing flourishing between Dan and Shiuli a relationship. Every emotion in this silent movie is not spoken out but left to be felt by the audience.
October revolves around Dan ( Varun Dhawan ), a student of hotel management who’s working as an intern in a hotel, in Delhi along with Shiuli and some batch mates. The movie takes a turn when Shiuli accidentally falls from a two-story building while partying in the terrace and gets into a coma landing up in the hospital. It is here that Dan seeks his answers in the bond they share. Working as interns they never had any full-length conversations. It was just a few glances and some yes and no’s. That’s it. Still, how Dan gets so drawn to Shiuli and finds answers in her quiet, motionless world is maybe what the movie revolves on. It is the hospital where they acknowledge their ”friendship “ in their own silent, expressionless, stoic ways. Or is it ”love”?
Varun Dhawan as Dan has a heartbreaking innocence. For the viewers, it’s love at first sight. He’s 21. Blunt, careless, and a bit childlike. You would doubt whether he’s the same Varun from “mai tera hero “ and “Humpty Sharma ki Dulhania “ grooving shirtless with six-packs on screen. Bondi’s acting as Shiuli ( Bengali name for night jasmine) is so mature and real that you would doubt whether she really is a debutante. Shiuli’s only weapon at hand was her eyes, and she justifies it brilliantly. Gitanjali as Shiuli’s mother comes late, but it’s worth the wait. She has some beautiful lines to her credit.
The screenplay and dialogues by Juhi Chaturvedi, in this silent movie, don’t go unnoticed. It never loses its tracks. It’s neither too much nor too little, it’s exactly enough. It would surprise you how seamlessly she has stitched humor in every scene. The cinematographer Abhik Mukhopadhyay sets the camera rolling and captures the scenes with charm and eloquence. The background score of Shantanu helps the audience dig deep into the scenes. To sum up, these people never forget the motto which this movie sets to achieve.
How many Bollywood movies are successful in leaving marks without any item numbers? in this case even a proper song. Sircar has tried to tell a narrative from a perspective, different from that of “Piku” or “Gulabo Sitabo”. On the flip side “October” occasionally tends to get a bit complicated, but it pulls back at the nick of time so that too much damage is not done.
Overall it’s a humane, old- fashioned, feel-good film which is beautifully written, intelligently crafted, and superbly acted. In love and friendship a lot remain unsaid and what cannot find it’s a way through language will find a way to flow out.
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