Heard about the old school romance? Well, if not, then here comes “Notebook” by Nitin Kakkar which will highlight the unconventional old school romance between two teachers of a godforsaken school who have never met each other. It will also bring to you the breathtaking beauty of Kashmir captured quite eloquently with a splash of newness in it.
Directed by – Nitin Kakkar
Produced by – Salman Khan, Murad Khetani, Ashwin Varde
Written by – Shabbir Hashmi, Payal Ashar (Dialogue)
Screenplay by – Darab Farooqui
Starring – Zaheer Iqbal, Pranutan Bahl
Music by – Vishal Mishra, Julius Packiam
Cinematography – Manoj Kumar Khatoi
Edited by – Sachindra Vats
Production company – Salman Khan Films, Cine1 Studios
Plot: The official remake of the Thai film “The Teacher’s Diary”, the ‘Notebook’ is a movie which encircles atypical love between two teachers Firdaus (Pranutan Behl) and Kabir (Zaheer Iqbal) of the same school in Kashmir. However, Firdaus doesn’t work there any longer. In fact, Kabir has come as Firdaus’s replacement in the school which is situated in the Wular Lake. He falls in love with Firdaus because of her ‘Notebook’ which she left behind by accident. The Notebook does not only centre on musings and doodles rather it also has a collection of Firdaus’s pedagogic methods, which in turn guides Kabir, provides comfort and help him to deal with children effectively in the long run. She has penned her most intimidating thoughts which makes Kabir fall in love with her.
Movie Review: After hearing the name and also watching the first half of the movie, it appears like Notebook is an old school romance tale. But, we soon realise that this sublime tale of romance has more to offer us.
Nitin Kakkar’s directorial takes a deep dive into the ongoing issues in Kashmir during the early 2000s. The film, through camouflage, successfully demonstrates the pathetic education facilities, the mishandling of Kashmiri youth by their families due to the surrounding circumstances, the exposure of children towards weapons, the life of army men in sensitive areas in an unrealistic way. The movie also takes a successful jibe on the political situation of Kashmir. However, the looseness of the plot and the presence of loopholes forbid it from becoming one epic saga.
The awe-inspiring beauty of Kashmir is captured so wonderfully in the movie that it leaves you wonderstruck in various scenes. The scenic landscapes covered with chinar leaves, snow-covered peaks, calm lakes lend the film a surreal sheen.
Coming to the actors, Pranutan and Zaheer both have played their parts in an elegant manner. Both the characters get their individual time on the stage in which they are able to put up a great show for the audience. They have shown by their charismatic appearance that they are here to stay. Mir Sarwar too has wonderfully played the character of a fundamentalist father who tries to push his brainy son into militancy. Not only seniors, the children have also acted in the film with ease. Imran, played by the handsome child debutant Mir Mohammed Mehroos, has created the most impact in the movie (amongst children). The cinematography is at par, however, the depth in the movie is missing which leaves the important issues like the Kashmiri Pandits Exodus half-baked.
Our Verdict: This movie deserves a one time watch however there are several hit and misses in the movie. If you are a hopeless romantic then you are surely going to love this saga of epistolary romance otherwise it will appear a bit chaotic.