The two guys who sat next to me while watching the new Shoojit Sircar movie October were saying the movie would have been sensible if Dan and Shiuli were in a relationship. I just couldn’t agree to that statement. Creating a relationship between Dan and Shiuli would be like giving an entire back-story to the character played by Fahadh Fassil in Thondimuthalum Drisakshiyum. The innocence of Dan and the care he gives to Shiuli out of a feeling that she cared for him makes the seemingly not so sensible affection a beautiful one on screen.
Danish is one of our protagonists and is an intern in a five star hotel. His attitude has already made his life there a difficult one. Shiuli Iyer is a coworker Dan knows. One day Shiuli fell from the third floor of the hotel and the accident was so severe that she went to a coma. Dan who was not there when the accident happened started to care for this coworker and the movie shows us the growth of that care.
I am yet to consider this as a romantic film. The relationship Juhi Chaturvedi has etched out here is a particular dimension of care. In one scene Dan argues with his friends on why they never told him that the last thing Shiuli asked before falling was about him. This seemingly funny scene which sheds light on the attitude of our hero is in a way the driving factor of this movie. His intense attention towards Shiuli after that point sort of gives us an idea about how less care he has got in life and thus this disobedient guy’s angst becomes our angst and we tend to root for Shiuli.
Varun Dhawan might be considered as a product of nepotism, but for me he and Ranbir Kapoor are two exceptional talents in that category. This one is perhaps Varun’s most endearing performance till date and the actor who stunned us in Badlapoor and entertained us with almost all the other films in his filmography, grabs this opportunity to show a different shade of the actor in him and delivers a sincere performance. Banita Sandhu doesn’t have much here to perform as her character is mostly in the paralyzed state. But she has a face that looks so innocent and her performance in even those tiny bits was nice. Gitanjali Rao as the working single mother was also a perfect casting.
With minimal background score and static frames, Shoojit Sircar sets the ambience nicely. The detailing to which the script goes is pretty impressive and we get into the routine of these people very quickly. One thing I loved about Juhi Chaturvedi’s scripting is how subtly she adds feministic elements into the story. The mother is a professor and she continues to work and even makes decisions at tough times. The character of the nurse, Dan’s mother, coworker, every female character has a space and a statement. It’s not like a propaganda film to boost feminism. Juhi has written a story about a man’s care for a fellow employee and Shoojit Sircar has captured it beautifully. The “could have been cheesy” elements in the movie were shaped in to sensible real scenes. The edit pattern was so good that Chandrasekhar Prajapati was able to make us realize how time has passed within those 115 minutes. The usage of static frames helps the movie a lot in being real and it also helps the viewer in exploring the details. The score by Shantanu Moitra is minimal and soulful.
October is not fast or even entertaining like Shoojit and Juhi’s other films like Piku or Vicky Donor. It’s about sadness and it’s not about any miracle. October is one of those films were you will feel for the character and also realize it’s possible to create heartening stories without twists or surprises.
October is one of those films were you will feel for the character and also realize it’s possible to create heartening stories without twists or surprises.
Green: Recommended Content
Orange: The In-Between Ones
Red: Not Recommended