Director Ritesh Batra brings to us another cinematic gem, a sweeter than sugar love story of two individuals lost in this world who find themselves a comfortable solitude with each other. Photograph is a movie which is, in its essence, very similar to The Lunchbox, his directorial debut. And if I may be permitted to say it, I can safely say that he is the Wordsworth of Bollywood.
The story begins with giving us glimpses of life of our protagonists, Miloni (Sanya Malhotra) and Rafique (Nawazuddin Siddiqui), who live their otherwise appropriate lives. However, they both have longing for something, which they themselves aren’t aware of it. A chance encounter at the Gateway of India, where Rafique works as a tourist photographer, becomes the point of first meet, where they both unknowingly recognise each other’s loneliness. Rafique has her photo, which he sends to his grandmother saying that this is the girl he wants to marry, so that she will stop worrying about him. But then, his grandmother decides to come to Mumbai to meet her. This forces Rafique to track down the stranger and convince her to support his lie, which he accomplishes. And so the story continues, with two strangers from different social stratas meeting each other through one common thing: the gaping hole in their heart.
These are the golden days for Nawazuddin Siddiqui, and he is making the best of them. He has a better consistency in movies than Virat Kohli in cricket, which is saying a lot. Sanya Malhotra is the star of this movie, and she does justice to her character, portraying her insecurities and loneliness in a way which is most endearing. The lady who plays the grandmother has played her part the perfect way, showing that age is irrelevant to talent in the field of acting. Rest of the performances, including a surprise cameo by Vijay Raaz, were okay at most. Other cinematic aspects of the movie resound with The Lunchbox-cinematography, editing and art direction. The real hero of the movie is its poetic treatment of solitude. Ritesh Batra understands three things better than most: Loneliness, Mumbai and serendipity. Both his films have elaborately displayed these three things, and thus whoever wants to watch him play by his forte again, the movie is still in theatres.
Eagle’s eye: Rafique mentions that her grandmother is coming by Ferozepur Janta passenger. However, the train arrives in late evening, whereas he receives his grandmother in daytime.