By Kishor Barua (Mumbai, India)
October: An Indulging Tale of Unspoken Emotions
“October is not a love story”, that’s how it was promoted and after watching this movie I do agree with this, it’s definitely not a love story; I am not sure how the relationship Danish Walia/Dan (Varun Dhawan) shares with Shiuli Iyer (Banita Sandhu) can even be described. But October is beautiful in its own sense, may be the incompleteness of their story worked for me.
To give a basic plot line synopsis, Dan and Shiuli are interns in a five star hotel. Shiuli is smart and bright, diligent in her work and Dan is part cranky, part innocent, who dreams of opening his own restaurant in partnership with his friends, but lacks seriousness for his job. Dan and Shiuli don’t even have any direct conversation till an accident changes their lives forever.
Varun Dhawan plays Dan with a certain aplomb; Dhawan Jr. has evolved a lot in his short career, from Student of the year to October. Dan, as a character has a certain naivety to him, (you can make out from conversations with the hospital staff) and for some reason, in most of the scenes you can see him talking with his head tilted down. Not much is shown about his background and why he-is the way he-is remains unanswered. It doesn’t really make a difference to the overall narrative though.
Banita, who is making her debut has very few dialogues, but more emotions are relayed through her expressive eyes.
Kudos to Gitanjali Rao for the portrayal of Prof. Vidya Iyer (Shiuli’s mother), who expresses pain without breaking down in adverse situations; even when she is taunted, because she supported her daughter’s career choice.
One of the memorable scene from this movie is the interaction between the mothers (Dan and Shiuli’s), where they discuss their children. Rest of the supporting cast acted well.
Cinematography is pleasant and complements the emotional tone of this movie. Avik Mukhopadhyay (Pink) has captured the essence of Delhi (and also Kullu) very well, specially the Delhi winter. Flowers play an intrinsic role in this movie, and you can understand why there is a constant presence of flowers throughout.
October doesn’t have any on-screen songs, and the use of violin in the background works well.
October is far from run of the mill stuff, some might find this movie akin to ‘watching paint dry’ (how one of my friend described it) kind of boring, but I am glad Juhi Chaturvedi wrote this script and Shoojit made this movie. This is different from anything we have seen from this duo; it’s a slow burner which requires you to have patience to experience it. Dan and Shiuli convey more through small gestures than what words can say.
With October, the director and writer have created a piece of art for audiences who will appreciate it rather than making something that will be defined by its BO collection numbers.
To end it, carefully drawn characters and uncomplicated plot line makes October a decent watch.