Shoojit Sircar‘s off-beat film ‘October‘ struck a chord somewhere. If you have gone through a phase where your world has come to a standstill for some reason, you will identify with it.
In one of the best performances of his career, Varun Dhawan plays Danish Walia or Dan- a hotel management trainee. First time actor Banita Sandhu as Shiuli Iyer is just another colleague in his workplace. The film begins by capturing the mechanical motions of work in a five-star hotel. And then something happens on a New Year’s eve when one person’s world stills. What happens to the people around her?
Through a series of quiet images Shoojit Sircar manages to capture the movement of life, while ‘thehraav’ (‘stillness’ – for want of a better word) envelops one life. The daily work around a hospital goes on, while a mind stills. The hotel moves on as a trainee is incapacitated. But what of the people who are caught between these two worlds? Can they move on?
The hero of the film is Juhi Chaturvedi’s writing and screenplay. To conceive this and to deliver it without rushing through the pace, was more than brave.
One is made aware of the passage of time through the growth of someone’s hair, the shape of one’s eyebrows, through an outstretched umbrella or through a warm jacket. While the monitors in the hospital beep rhythmically, and day-passes change to night-passes, time is captured through evocative frames. Does one realize how one’s mind is being subtly transformed during this process?
Each character is etched beautifully. From the nurse in the ICU (Nimmi Raphael) to Dan’s colleagues in the workplace, every one makes sense. Gitanjali Rao playing Shuili’s mother wonderfully comes across as stoic and gentle at the same time.
October is a mindful watch. Spend a quiet evening watching it. Life cannot be rushed sometimes. Just as adding pace would destroy the soul of this film.