Shoojit Sircar’s October Is Brilliant; Varun And Banita, Take A Bow

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The plot is nothing dramatic, miles away from it, nothing over-the-top and therefore absolutely believable. And therein lies the beauty of the movie

The nights of the month of October are flavoured with a very sweet smell in the air. Every Bengali would tell you that the smell is that of shiuli flowers. The bloom of these flowers signal the onset of autumn. They have a very subtle but striking smell, which lingers in your mind after, somehow.

That is what the movie October feels like: all through watching the movie you will feel a sense of sadness intermingled with love, and even after you leave the theatres, that feeling doesn’t really leave you. No, it doesn’t really leave you asking for more, but the joy of watching such a heartwarming tale will linger for a while.




Shoojit Sircar’s October does what you don’t expect a lot of Bollywood movies to do. Watching the movie, you feel like these characters could be anyone…your neighbours, your friends, you. It is like you have been transported into someone’s life and you are watching from afar – it is presented with that level of realness. And therein lies the beauty of the movie.

The plot is nothing dramatic, miles away from it, nothing over the top and therefore absolutely believable. Here is a very irritable Dan (Varun Dhawan) who isn’t all that excited about the work he does in the hospitality sector, but is as blatantly tongue-in-cheek as possible, bordering on black humour. There is a very composed Shiuli (Banita Sandhu) who Dan works with, who goes about her chores around the hotel; and there is never an out-and-out scene where you would think that either is attracted to the other. Until we find Shiuli in a hospital bed, fighting for her life after falling off the third floor of the hotel, and Dan finds himself disturbed and drawn because of what Shiuli’s last words were.




The only part where the cynic in you will be quizzical is that: a man who up until now didn’t really care about anything as much is now letting go of his life to take care of a girl he believes was in love with him. And if not to wonder what becomes of the girl, you patiently wait to find out what becomes of a love story so simple and nuanced that you will feel, if I may be poetic, the feeling of October in April. Really, it is the “love story” that will make you take a breath and wonder why things can’t just be simple in our constantly hurried lives.

 Banita Sandhu has given a remarkable performance as someone who, for the most part of it was battling to live. Varun Dhawan needs to take a bow, because this maybe his best performance by far in terms of acting without really acting. Even the side actors, such as Gitanjali Rao (who plays Shiuli’s mother) have done a fabulous job bringing the character’s pain and patient love to life.

The ending of the movie leaves all the loose ends tied, makes you sigh in sweet contentment…like that feeling of being at peace with everything. I don’t want to give away anything more or less. I’ll let the movie charm you.




An achingly beautiful tale, October is a must watch for sure if you enjoy the once in a while surprise Bollywood throws our way.

And this year, when October comes, remember to smell some shiulis.
 



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