Cast: Varun Dhawan, Banita Sandhu, Gitanjali Rao
Director: Shoojit Sarkar
Two individuals who rarely interact beyond proffesional compulsion have their lives interwined with each other following a tragedy.
Dan(Varun Dhawan) is a 20 something hotel management student and trainee at a five star hotel in Delhi. dissatisfied with the work he gets, he is rebellious, de motivated , irritable, silly yet loveable.
Shiuli(Banita Sandhu) is another trainee at the hotel. Polite, steady, diligent , she provides a contrast to Dan’s personality.
The youngsters are working towards making their space in the hotel industry, an accident where Shiuli falls off the fourth floor, ties her to the hospital bed, slipping her into coma and bringing the life of both Dan and Shiuli to a halt. While it is Shiuli’s medical condition that makes her incapable to move, Dan’s emotions do not let him move on from the tragedy and pain that Shiuli is suffering.
“Where is Dan?” a routine question asked by Shiuli right before the accident ends up impacting Dan deeply and transforming him in a way that his life starts to revolve around Shiuli. Oscillating between the hotel and hospital, Dan is seen spending days beside Shiuli’s bed and being a support to Shiuli’s grief stricken mother and younger siblings. Whether it is Dan’s love for Shiuli or obsession arising from an insignificant question asked by her, Dan’s feelings towards Shiuli highlight the complexities of human behaviour and emotions that go beyond explanations and practicality. The film has a slow pace and rythmic flow that lets you absorb the depth of the story. Scenes like Dan’s conversation with the nurse add a light humour to the story, making you smile amidst the tears. Dan’s conversation to the bed ridden Shiuli and Shiuli’s stares at Dan potray a beautiful connection between them that is nothing like the usual melodramatic love. Most of what flourishes between them is not said but felt.
Gitanjali Rao plays the part Shiuli’s mother. She effortlessly potrays the role of a strong women fighting the grief of her daughter’s condition but continuing with her work and responsibilities.
Banita Sandhu looks like a promising newcomer, even though she has very few scenes in the first half and its her eyes which perform for her in the second half.
Varun Dhawan has given his finest performance till date with this film. His decision to play a role which is so different from the quintessential hero image is worth appreciation. He potrays restraint, innocence and is adorable in scenes such as the one where he is protective about Shiuli upon seeing a male hospital staffer staring at her. His transformation from a carefree man to someone who has made it his life’s purpose to be there for a woman with whom he never had any relationship that can defined, makes you feel for him while wondering about the change that feelings can bring in a person.
Shoojit Sarkar’s October moves far beyond the regular love stories that Bollywood has made till date. It is a heart wrenching, soul stirring tale of unconditional love, loss, grief, longing and hope that remains with you long after the film gets over.
Creative credits – Varun Dhawan’s Official Instagram