Ritesh Batra returns to directing a Hindi feature film six years after The Lunchbox. This time, he chooses the story of two strangers hailing from two different strata of the society who fall in love with one another. Separated by class and religion, both of them try to find common ground to bridge the distance between them. Photograph review, brought to you by AboutFlick’s Mr S.
Director: Ritesh Batra
Review: Ritesh Batra returns to directing a Hindi feature film six years after The Lunchbox. This time, he chooses the story of two strangers hailing from two different strata of the society who fall in love with one another. Separated by class and religion, both of them try to find common ground to bridge the distance between them.
In the film, Rafi and Miloni meet with one another at Gateway of India, Rafi urges Miloni to take a photograph and she says yes. But Miloni disappears before Rafi could hand her the picture. Rafi finds Miloni not only to hand her over the picture, but also to ask for the favour of acting as his fiancé in front of his grandmother.
Remember Batra’s Lunch box where two people connected with each other over a bunch of letters? Here, similarly, Batra focuses on the details. Rafi shares a dingy one-room chawl with four other men. Miloni, on the other hand, has her own room with a maid, Rampyaari (Geetanjali Kulkarni). He wears chappals and Miloni wears sandals (Batra magnificently uses shots of feet to highlight social differences). Told you, details! While Miloni works hard to be a chartered accountant, Rafi urges every person who visits the gateway of India to take a photograph. If he had continued his education, he might have become a compounder. The only similarity they have, is that they have dedicated their lives to others. Rafi goes on convincing tourists of the significance of capturing a perfect photograph to pay off a long-standing debt and Miloni’s life is bounded by her family’s pressure. Batra shows the audience the diversity of Mumbai through its characters.
But their relationship is at stake, due to the viewpoint of society which refuses to accept them together. Starting from Rafi’s roommate to the taxi driver, everyone questions their relationship. Even when Rafi sees Miloni’s professor misbehaving with her, he cannot do anything but protest from a distance. Photograph, through its narrative, helps the audience experience how the two characters help each other find parts of one another which were long forgotten by themselves. Miloni explains to Rafi’s grandmother how Rafi captured one picture of hers in which she couldn’t even recognize herself. The inner actress in her suddenly feels alive when told to perform a scene from Noori. Although somehow, her intentions are unclear, and that hobbles the progress of the movie. Nawaz excels as Rafi with proper and clear intentions. Other than that, the scenes with campa cola and that old Mumbai building is surely going to make you feel nostalgic.
If you fell in love with the two strangers in Lunchbox, I can guarantee that you are surely going to like the two strangers in this story.
Rating: My rating for Photograph is 4/5.
Who should watch this: If you like emotional dramas which really express the soul of the movie without excess drag, then do go watch Photograph. You can also watch The Namesake(2006), Life In A… Metro(2007), Lunchbox (2013), Nil Battey Sannata (2015).