Tuesday, April 17, 2018

October in April

Hats off to writer Juhi Chaturvedi and director Shoojit Sircar for giving us October minus the heat. The narrative is indeterminate by design. This story of love, fidelity, redemption or something else depending on how you interpret it, takes root in a hospital ward, blooms amid urine pouches and jasmine flowers, and is almost oblivious to the din of intimidating equipment, constant medical intervention, and even the plight of helpless kin. The wonderful support cast and veritable hotel and hospital backdrops make October immensely watchable, so do Varun Dhawan and Banita Sandhu. The former happily takes off his 'student of the year' robes and the latter trusts her eyes to do the needful. That the story demands it is another story.

Not everything about the film is convincing, certainly not the overdone brashness of Varun's hotel intern character. The liberty he enjoys - both at the hotel and hospital - is a deliberate directorial ploy to plug in 'JUST FOR LAUGHS' moments in an end-to-end sombre film. But what the film conveys in mute frames, and through everyday dialogues of everyday characters, more than condones the indulgence of a few implausible scenes.

A review of October is truly besides the point, as any attempt to distill Chaturvedi’s script into illuminating lines would prove futile. This is a film for viewing and ruminating. And without a thought to the media buzz about its alleged inspiration - the 2013 sci-fi flick "Her". True or untrue, why should we bother?