Juhi Chaturvedi pens a story of grief and some form of self-discovery (no not the Ranbhir Kapoor type). Shoojit Sircar directs with great finesse, never meddling from the softness of the story. Gitanjali Rao and Varun Dhawan perform to depict the serenity of this wonderful tale. It’s a film, where everything just came together to create magic. For any movie, I review I keep my phone handy, to take notes. Those are usually 8-10, dialogues, character names, things that stood out for me. October, immersed me so deeply, that when I started to write this review, I have only 2 lines to work with. It’s a feeling that will not leave for long.
It’s a story of Dan or Danish (Varun Dhawan), an uninterested and easily peeved hotel management trainee at a 5 star hotel in Dehli. He pretends as if he knows better, and acts of that impulse. From the hotel lobby, to the pool area and even killing bees with an electric racket, on the road, Dan keeps trying to find that missing piece but fails. Among the bunch of trainees is the subdued but delightful Shiuli Iyer (Banita Sandhu). Her understated role is perfect for the film, in which she communicates with her eyes for the most part.
As the trailer informs us, Shiuli Iyer has an accident. The turning point of the lives of all the main characters of film (essentially the film itself) is done without the usual splash of emotions and background sound. It simply happens; like life. What follows is a transformation of Dan. Very slowly, the man who is easily irritated, turns a corner. He is helping people for no obvious reward or reason (apart from looking after Shiuli).
86% on rotten tomatoes. All over the people who have felt and connected have really supported our small film with a massive heartbeat i am very grateful. This love isn’t for me it’s just for the film which is the biggest high for me as an actor #october pic.twitter.com/kCMn1UdNPB
— VarunDhawan (@Varun_dvn) April 14, 2018
Post accident, we meet the absolutely impeccable Gitanjali Rao as Shiuli’s mother. She is a portrait of grief as the mother of an ailing 21 year old daughter. But she is a pillar of strength for her other children. The relationship between Dan and Shiuli’s mother plays out on nuances. This is where the film goes. You may think not much is going on here. But Shoojit Sircar has given meaning to each shoot. Shantanu Moitra’s music is pacifying but not leading. While, Varun Dhawan delivers perhaps the best performance of his career. There are moments of quality humor, and there are moments which could have led the film to a different direction. A direction, which we are used to seeing, a slow build up leading to a blow off with emotional music. October, never goes there.
What stands out for me, is the constant tussle between the right thing to do and just living life. Every day we face small situation where you want to be there for someone but life stops us from going through with our noble intention. October, questions the mundane nature of modern life and presents a different definition of love. The kind of love, a mother has with her child, unrewarding love. But it is heart breaking. The movie is not a fairy tale. It is a no holds barred portrayal of modern life, with Dan forcing us to zoom out from our lives and re-evaluate the choices we make daily. October, will break your heart!