Varun Dhawan, Banita Sandhu
Have you seen how quietly flowers fall to the ground in autumn? It takes so long for them to blossom, to find their beauty, and once they have lived, they simply fall to your feet, for you to fall in love and make that circle complete. There is no thunder, there is no declaration but there is such potency that you cannot help but feel it. That is Shoojit Sircar’s October for you.
Dan (Varun Dhawan) is all of 21, he is young and he wants to do more in life. And sometimes, more is only about complaining, and ranting about how he deserves more than graveyard shifts at Delhi’s elite five star hotel. It is not easy being a hotel management trainee, but the bunch of them are doing well. That is, until Shuili (Banita Sandhu) has a mishap.
For someone who has been rather lax with life - the uncertainty of it, the vulnerability of it hits Dan right between the eye, as do Shuili’s glazed eyes. With a determination he didn’t know he possessed, Dan starts journeying with Shuili through her illness. Not leaving her side, giving her support when she lies limp, seemingly unaware about his presence by her side even… it is sweet, it is sad… it is life.
The USP of the film lies in the fact that never once does Shoojit make the matter too grim for laughs. You don’t do hee haw in the film but you smile through your tears, all because there is a person out there, calling shots who knows how life is for us people. We don’t have a forewarning background score predicting doom, but we know sh*t happens and we wade through the waters like we must. A lot about Dan is not about what is right and wrong, it is about doing what needs to be done. The relationship between Suili and Dan is best expressed in one scene where they acknowledge each other. It's raw and sublime at the same time.
Nothing is rushed in the film, so a lot of it stays with you even as you walk away from the theatres, there are moments you wished you could see again, but if you are a Varun Dhawan fan expecting to see something fun, romantic…. You may have to skip this turn, and wait for his next release. Dhawan has outturned himself through October. He is a regular bloke who is not trying to impress. He is sweet, and loveable by default but he is stubborn too. It is his stubbornness that transcends into Dan and through him to Suili that makes the connect, the bond so precious. It is clear that this was Varun’s I-will-prove-my-detractors-wrong moment and he totally nailed it. You expect him to go over-the-top in a few scenes but he is visibly reigned in.
Banita is beautiful and poignant even in scenes even those where she doesn’t move a muscle. She does her part beautifully. As does her mother (Geetanjali Rao). In fact, even the smallest portions have actors who have done justice to their parts….so the credit to it all lies with Shoojit Sircar’s direction.
Something about having him calling the shots, and having Avik Mukhopadyay doing the cinematography, completely changes the topography of Delhi. Through their eyes the city seems to have come to a standstill even while the traffic moves…. How do they do it, they alone know! To conclude, with Juhi Chaturvedi’s writing, the impeccable direction by Sircar – October is a beautiful journey, but if you are running late, you might as well skip it, wait for the years to catch on… perhaps then the pace won’t matter as much as the crux.