Photograph - A Review
A collection of intricate moments in a big city
Small moments are sewn together tenderly in this film to create a masterpiece. Photograph is a love story about two lives that come together and convey their love through small gestures. Filmmaker Ritesh Batra, who debuted with his movie - The Lunchbox, has come up with yet another story which occurs when two different paths accidentally intersect. The film has Sanya Malhotra playing the character of Miloni, and Nawazuddin Siddiqui as Rafi. Both the lead characters have intricacies and layers to their characters which unfold as the movie progresses.
Miloni, an ordinary and quiet girl, who excels in academics, is not satisfied with her current life. She suppresses her emotions and her nervousness can be seen in her constantly moving fingers and feet. After an accidental encounter with Rafi, a struggling photographer at Gateway of India, she begins to discover her emotions and desires from life. A spiral of events leads Rafi to make his grandmother believe that Noorie (Miloni) is the girl he wishes to spend the rest of his life with. "Aankhon mein duniya bhar ke sawaal aur unhi aankho mein unka jawaab", Rafi writes about Noorie to his grandmother in his letter.
Miloni and Rafi, two strangers in a big city begin to find solace in the presence of each other through their brief but meaningful meetings. On one such meeting, they visit the beach where Rafi's grandmother, played by Farrukh Jaffar, wants the duo to get a photograph clicked. The duo, engulfed by their shyness and modesty stand a little too apart from each other as they pose, to which daadi says, "Ek doosre ke kareeb huo miyaan...ismile please". While the physical distance lessens between the duo, their innocent smile displays their growing connection.
The bond shared between Miloni and her house help, Rampyaari is yet another beautiful story in the film. They share moments of interaction where Miloni asks Rampyaari about the latter's family and village. She admires the plain 'village life' and wishes to be able to have the same for her someday. Later in the film, when asked by another character as to where she would like to live, Miloni says, "in a village".
Nawaz, who fills his character with gentle nuances, develops a strong admiration for Miloni. He keeps her photographs under his mattress as his little secret and looks at them with his pleasant 'crooked smile'. A smile his daadi claims he got from his grandfather. On a rainy day, Miloni visits him and discovers his little secret and instantly, she gets a similar smile on her face for a brief moment.
The film glides through emotions, personal growth and discovering oneself amidst all the hustle-bustle of the race which we all are a part of. The title of the movie- Photograph, tries to capture the intricacy in the subtleness of a moment. Perhaps, the audience captures the subtleness in the story as soon as Rafi says, "Saalon baad jab aap ye photo dekhengi madam, toh aapko aapke chehre pe yahi dhoop dikhayi degi, aapke baalon mei ye hawa aur aapke kaano mein hazaaro logon ki avaazein". It is a thing of beauty, the different forms of love that can exist in this world.
Movie Rating: 4.5/5