Cast – Varun Dhawan, Banita Sandhu, Gitanjali Rao
Directed by – Shoojit Sircar
Produced by – Ronnie Lahiri, Sheel Kumar
Written by – Juhi Chaturvedi
Cinematography by – Avik Mukhopadhayay
Edited by – Chandrashekhar Prajapati
Production House – Rising Sun Films
Duration – 1 hr 55 min
October is a love story, a rather quiet one. You will not get those dramatic, emotionally overwhelmed Yash Raj film scenes from this Shoojit Sircar’s but you would not miss them either. The storytelling art is highly consuming. Although subdued, it is no way less impactful than the in-your-face romantic melodrama. The story starts with a regular protagonist with an ordinary life and only after a striking event, the story takes a deeper turn.
Varun Dhawan plays the role of Danish Walia, affectionately called as Dan by his friends, who studies hotel management and is taking an internship at a Delhi’s top hotel. There he met Shiuli (Banita Sandhu). However, no fiery sparks fly between the two on the first or even after numerous daily meets. Again this is not a typical love story, things play out slowly, quietly and serenely. In fact, the film does not even have many dialogues. Expressing through eyes and even silence is the way the film goes about to touch its viewers.
The pair sees each other every day but doesn’t have much interaction other than the casual conversation. The turning point of the film comes about when Banita lands up in the hospital due to an accident in the hotel. This is when Varun suddenly discovers a subtle feeling of love which has been dormant up till now. He tries to figure out his intense emotions towards the Shiuli, who is now on deathbed. To sort out the emotional whirlwind and his mental state, he embarks on an emotional journey where he tries to explore the concept of love.
Delving into the character of Varun, he is a rather careless clumsy guy in early 20s, with lots of growing up to do. Sudden love inundation surely surprises us and him as well, for even he didn’t know he is capable of that much of emotional depth. He is, however, the one to wear his heart on his sleeves. Blunt and straight-up honest, he is quite easy to love. Shiuli, on the other hand, keeps your attention tied with her deep girl image, displayed through her long, stoic and silent stares. Together, through this newly acknowledged feeling towards each other, they knit a beautiful poetic love story.
Since the film does not have those loud emotional scenes, let alone some power-pack dialogues, the whole responsibility lies on the direction and screenplay, which are incredibly perfect. Shoojit’s direction breathes life into every scene and gives you sufficient glimpse into everyone’s character, that at times you would just forget you are watching a movie. The characters feel like real people with real emotions. The appeal is very life-like, a salient trademark of a good cinema.
The scenes are beautifully written with light humour slipped here and there. The calm emotional ride would often break you into a smile. Talking about performances, this is Varun Dhawan’s best performance hands down. He has come a long way from having the tad aggressive shirtless hero image. Banita has fared well being a debutante. Being a less dialogue centric film and more of an expression driven sequences, she has done a good job.
Definitely a must-watch. A bit slow pace might act as a deterrent but the humane story can easily sweep these minor flaws under the rug. The movie is definitely a great entertainer for the weekend.