An Unusual Love Story: Review of the Film Photograph
Can love happen between two completely different people?
Rafi, a photographer at the Gateway of India. Miloni, a young middle class woman studying CA. And this is the story of how it all started with a photograph.
On a casual visit to the Gateway, Miloni gives in to the persuasion of a street photographer (Rafi) and allows him to click a picture of her. She finds the casually clicked picture way prettier than she expected as she mentions that the girl in the picture is way happier than she is. "I didn't see myself," "I saw someone happier and prettier."
Rafi, on the other hand is under pressure by his grandmother to find a bride for himself. He sends her a picture of Miloni saying she is his fiance and calls her Noori as he does not know her real name. When grandma comes to meet Rafi, he requests Miloni to pretend as his fiance. What starts as an act, gradually turns into an unsaid stream of emotions. Miloni discovers she is intrigued by Rafi's description of rural life and she wishes to escape the confinement of an urban lifestyle. The character of Miloni perhaps aims at telling the tale of every young mind at the axiom of identity crisis and self discovery.
A welcome relief from the conventional Bollywood drama, Photograph is a breath of fresh air. It's unconventional story-telling, crisp plot and open ended conclusion, left the audience with plenty of food for thought. Nawazuddin Siddiqi's character is subtle yet dynamic and Sanya Malhotra beautifully portrays the fleeting emotion of a woman coming of age. The film on one hand portrays the maturity of thoughts and on the other tells a tale of growing up.
Wrapped in the crust of a romantic drama, Photograph vividly shows the clash between tradition and modernism while subtly dealing with socio-cultural appendages like marriage, class gap, religious boundaries and cultural diversity. Ritesh Batra's canvas of Mumbai city is a perfect setting to the plot and the character sketches. The not so conventional love story has a not so conventional way of expressing romance. It celebrates the idea of enormity in simplicity. Rafi's search for Miloni's favourite brand of soft drink even though its no longer in production is a definite 'Aww' moment. But unlike a typical Rom-Com, Photograph ends on an undramatic yet strong note for the audience to paint a picture however they wish to.
© 2019 Soumi Das