October seems like the most romantic film since Amar Prem. In Shakti Samanta’s 1971 romantic classic Amar Prem the lead pair Rajesh Khanna and Sharmila Tagore never get a chance to get close in the way men and women get in real and reel life….no songs, no affection, and yet Rajesh Khanna and Sharmila Tagore were the epitome of romanticism.
I see the same sublimity in Varun Dhawan’s eyes in October, director Shoojit Sircar and writer Juhi Chuturvedi’s most romantic association to date. The trailer is suffused in shades of green and hues of morning time serenity, conveying a closeness to nature, like bracing a walk by the riverside on a soft autumn morning. Varun Dhawan plays a housekeeper at a post hotel in love with the idea of love. The girl whom he follows into the ICU of a hospital barely acknowledges him at their workplace. Yet he clings to the idea of love in the way a mother whose son has gone soldiering to the border, clings to the idea of him returning. The thought of a man waiting for a comatose woman to recover before knowing whether she is in love with him or not was recently seen in Kumail Nanjiani’s The Big Sick.
It’s a relationship built on fragile hope and residual trust. The trailer tenderly and lovingly weaves into Varun Dhawan’s character Dan’s world where love has lodged itself precariously. This is not an easily obtainable love nor is it relationship that has any rational basis. For all we know, the love could just be in Varun’s mind. October is a world that very few filmmakers today would dare to enter let alone inhabit with such comforting grace. This is the kind of romantic drama we thought we would never see again after Amar Prem. It takes one Bengali to take over the mantle of the new-age Bimal Roy from another.
Take a bow, Mr Sircar. We had a magician with whom you share your name. Now there is you creating magic in film after film. Welcome to the hall of all-time great filmmakers.