Just like 'The Lunchbox', director Ritesh Batra's latest release, 'Photograph' is all set to grace the silver screen. The film is set in Mumbai's fast lane and revolves around a placid and hesitant romance between a mismatched couple from a different background- Rafi (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) and Miloni (Sanya Malhotra). So, through the film was Batra able to return to his promising form of debut- 'The Lunchbox'? Let's find out!
The film starts with two strangers who accidentally cross paths; who are poles apart from each other- both religiously and academically. And, what starts with a harmless conversation over a 'Photograph' dwells into a tranquil romance quite quickly. Living in the digital age, one can say that it takes quite a while to warm up to Batra's portrayal of the two characters, as quiet, gentle, compassionate and with no-sparks.
However, what is brilliant though is that the actors seem to fit right into their roles. Nawazuddin stands out as Rafi, taking cinema a notch higher with his impeccable acting skills, that convey unsaid emotions quite effortlessly. However, Sanya's character as Miloni is underplayed a bit too much, but then is able to hold ground in front of an actor such as Nawaz.
Although slow paced, the film stands out due to Batra's unique take on love.
The film revolves around a photographer ( Nawazuddin) who is quite pressured by his grandmother to get married, who then convinces a shy stranger (Sanya) to pose as his fiancee. However, as time goes by and the two get to know each other better, their bond transforms in ways that both could not have imagined. The film is an ode to Mumbai, bringing the city out as a character sheltering two protagonists and their extraordinary and amazing journey.
'Photograph' is a beautifully crafted film, but there's a catch. Director Batra instead of building and giving a direction to his characters, just let's them be, due to which the film is hardly engaging. The climax is open-ended that leaves you intrigued and wanting for more.
The lead pair of the film shine brightly giving one of their best career performances. 'Photograph' is sure to take you back in time, and remind you of longing, mundane life and companionship.
Cast: Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Sanya Malhotra, Jim Sarbh and Vijay Raaz.
What works: The lead pair's performance, genuine humourous moments that grasp attention.
What doesn't work: The film although beautiful in many parts, is far away from reality.