Now don’t get me wrong. I have sat through and enjoyed the most long, arduous and languidly paced films. I am not averse to watching artsy, slow burning delights. But they need to have some meaning and October’s meaning escaped me completely. For it seemed more like the story of a man who stalked a girl in coma.
Here’s the plot. Dan (Varun) and Shiuli (Banita) are trainees at a 5-star hotel. They hardly talk to each other. They aren’t friends, just colleagues. But when Shiuli has an unfortunate accident and is put on life support, Dan who is a complete waste of a Trainee at the hotel, decides to wile away his time at the hospital. He gets “Kuch Jyadaa Hi Affected” by this incident, while he is absolutely flabbergasted how none of the other trainees are ( erm, for a girl he hardly spoke to!). Even Shiuli's best friend is shocked by his behavior.
When he finds out that her last words were to ask about him, he goes completely bonkers. Does she love me? Why did she ask about me? And then he starts stalking her every day. Amazingly, her family doesn’t think too much about it. If a guy, who is neither a boyfriend nor a very good friend, was loitering day and night at the hospital and getting involved in family discussions, any normal family would have started questioning his intentions. But while the whole world thinks it’s crazy, the family of the girl thinks it’s OK. The director lamely tries to explain this anomaly by showing that Shiuli’s mother (who is a single parent) found great moral support in him being there. Anyhow…. Does she make it through? For that you would have to watch the film. Beware: Some of you might need life support after that.
My whole problem with the film is that this guy is a stalker – so stop bloody condoning his behavior. He doesn’t know the girl’s intentions, but is still trying to find meaning in her last words, every day. In his mind, she has already said YES when she asked about him. Isn’t that the kind of mentality we are trying to discourage? Or just because he is a sort of a nice guy and is actually not physically assaulting her, this is deemed OK behavior? In one line - this film is about a Wastrel who tries to escape his Uselessness by trying to find meaning in a Tragedy and stalks a girl in coma for no apparent reason.
The cinematography, the background score and the acting of the ensemble cast are the upsides to this lesson in pseudo-art-filmmaking. Varun is only mildly irritating here. What is more irritating is the futility of it all. There is no reason to empathise with the lead character, for the reason behind his inefficiency or Chipku behavior is never explored. Why is he always sulking? Why is he always trying to escape his reality? Is he Ishaan Avasthi, 15 years later? Guess, I lack the depth to understand it.
Anyway, if you like Shoojit Sircar films then please have a dekho. But then you can wait for it to come on TV. Atleast that way you can fall asleep in your bed while watching it. And maybe if you watch it and find meaning in it, do let me know because quite frankly this was for me – a Jabardasti ka Art film.