Starring: Varun Dhawan, Banita Sandhu
Director: Shoojit Sircar
What’s it about?
An unfortunate accident changes the life of hotel management trainees Danish and Shiuli exposing layers of unconditional love, empathy and human emotions.
October plays out between two starkly opposing places – a 5-star hotel and a 5-star hospital. Between these lie the catharsis of the two main characters of the film – Danish (Dan played by Varun Dhawan) and Shiuli (debutante Banita Sandhu).
Their world too is starkly opposing. While Dan is brash and irreverent, Shiuili is obedient and underrated. But writer Juhi Chaturvedi and director Shoojit Sircar spend little time in exploring their personas before throwing them into a situation that redefines human emotions.
The idea of October came from a newspaper clipping. And the makers have kept the story as realistic as possible. In the bargain they end up throwing in a lot of medical jargons giving it a slightly docu-drama kind of colour, unintentionally though.
October doesn’t rush into anything, it remains calm, understated and sensitive wanting you to feel emotions of the characters, but call it the limitation of the story, the actor or the director, you seldom feel the pain that October so realistically narrates.
But the realism is also what works for the film and doesn’t let it slip into the dungeon of illogic that devours most Bollywood films.
Varun Dhawan’s character as Dan is simple with layers that are easy to understand. He’s a good fit for the role and makes an honest attempt at conveying the vulnerability, but his limited expressional range falls woefully short of any soul stirring moments. There are scenes that have the potential that is not fully explored by him. Similarly for newcomer Banita Sandhu it’s a bitter sweet debut where she is incapacitated by the physical limitations of her own character but the promise in her eyes does shine through at times, literally.
Shantanu Moitra’s background score though, works much of the magic with its balanced and melodious melancholy that makes up for no songs at all.
Much of the film is shot indoors, losing its essence in closed doors. A little more exploration of Delhi and around would have helped in breaking some bit of monotony of the screenplay, but thanks to Chandrashekhar Prajapti’s wise editing – the film doesn’t seem to go on and on.
October is a very niche film it’s admittedly not for everybody. It has its heart in the right place, but we have seen better from this writer and this director.
I am going with 3 stars