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Friday, October 02, 2009

We've woken up..... !!!!


Bollywood has really woken up.... to new-age cinema! And this time, none other than the much celebrated king of mush, Karan Johar, has backed this very refreshing film called "Wake Up Sid" by first-time director Ayan Mukherjee. Kudos!

Watching the film last night at a nearby multiplex made me many in the audience wake up too.... waking up to the possibilities of films reaching out to the viewers by means of fresh takes on age-old rom-coms. The film adds a lot of zing to the pre-existent romantic conventions which have been worn out with over-use in factory-like Bollywood, that by and large churns out meaningless spin-offs of stale romances and poor man's version of Hollywood make-believe. It's true that there have been many a fresh attempt of late, by the new-age makers, who've infused their own modern sensibilities and have even managed to make a significant difference through their creative outpourings, but the standard Bollywood studio products have shown their indifference by catering to the mass market. Market economics have dictated the perpetuation of staleness, the stifling of growth. But this time the story is different.....

Karan Johar's earlier home-production was "Dostana" which I had covered in one of my write-ups, and it did have some novelty, but again not quite..... it was much of the same.... only toying with the risque, and generating stereotypical fun. "Wake Up Sid" is indeed different, sorry for sounding cliched, it is a coming-of-age story that has tremendous appeal; it's vibrant, zany, frothy, bubbly, spirited and - to sum up simply - fun, sheer fun!

The very young director of the film, Ayan Mukherjee (seen in the last pic with the hero, Ranbir Kapoor) has shown great maturity in handling the subject. Ayan had earlier assisted director Ashutosh Gowariker in "Swades", and he had also assisted Karan Johar in "Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna". In some ways, with "Wake Up Sid", he has even gone ahead of Farhan Akhtar who had shot to fame with his own coming-of-age semi-classic "Dil Chahta Hai"!

The film's ensemble cast is like a dream come true, each member of the cast is just perfect in terms of characterization. Ranbir Kapoor plays the protagonist Siddharth Mehra (Sid), Kpnkona Sen Sharma plays Aisha Bannerjee, the unconventional heroine, Anupam Kher plays Sid's father, and Supriya Pathak plays his mom. Also in the cast are Rahul Khanna, Namit Das, Shikha Talsania & Kainaz Motivala.

The story of this movie is about Sidharth Mehra, a rich, lazy, unmotivated slacker from Mumbai whose life undergoes a series of changes after college. Sid is a happy-go-lucky guy; he lives a breezy, carefree life. He is yet to wake up to the realities and complications of life. The most important elements in his life are his friends, his camera, his car, and his X-box 360. Sid might be the proverbial lazybones, but he is a warm, lovable soul.
Aisha Bannerjee, on the other hand is an aspiring writer from Kolkata, her path crosses with Sid's on her first day in Mumbai. Ambitious, well-read, and driven, Aisha has come to the city to realize her dreams as a writer. Despite their contrasting personalities, Sid becomes Aisha's first friend in the city.

A series of circumstances and events compel Sid to take stock of his life and take a hard look at himself. A wake up call is sounded in his conscience as he is compelled to deal with the emergent situation in his life, and that simultaneously involves his work, his dreams and also his heart.

The music of the film is just brilliant, it is classy, natural, and very much in sync with the screenlay. The talented team of composers Shankar, Ehsaan & Loy and lyricist Javed Akhtar, and also the guest composer Amit Trivedi, deserve genuine applause.

A reprise of personal thanks to Karan Johar, whom I had always had high regard for (especially for his articulate, intelligent & affable persona) but whose larger-than-life romances had always baffled me (and sometimes even irked me), for daring to deviate, for daring to take a risk; believe me Karan, it has paid off! And here's looking at you, Ayan.... for your future endeavors... surprise us with films that we can relate to, and which can make us reassert our confidence in the 'fresh' filmmakers brigade. Here's wishing you all the BEST!
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[pics: courtesy - Dharma Productions]

14 comments:

Imran said...

Nice review. But you have skilfully evaded the details of the plot. I admire you more for the same reason though. It would have been a disservice to the readers who mightn't have seen the film as yet.

I loved the film. And saying so is just an understatement. After a really long time I got to see a film that warmed the cockles of my heart!

pallavi said...

In an interview, the director, Ayan Mukherjee, said that had Ranbir Kapoor refused the role, he'd have taken Imran Khan in his place........
but Ranbir Kapoor, I have to say this, is the quintessential Sid, he plays the part perfectly! He is terrific with his non-verbal expressions, as with his dialogues (they touch our soul) and body language (his relaxing in the languid manner makes one sit up & chuckle)....... he's so very lovable, one almost feels that both he and Konkona can be reached out to and touched!!!!!!!
My verdict: WAKE UP S!D is an ethereal film.

Aniruddh said...

The best thing about WAKE UP S!D is the fact that it is such a today's film! The look of the film is just brilliant, thanks to Anil Mehta who is equally at ease with different genres of films; the feel-good quality of the film has been enhanced by the screenplay & direction of Ayan Mukherjee; the superbly fitting soundtrack is yet another feather in the cap for both Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy trio & Amit Trivedi; the inhabiting of the very soul of the characters by Ranbir & Koko, and the wide-scale-reach attempt is thanks to the vision of KJo & his Dharma Productions. And we wake up to a whole new experience! I can just say, Wow!!!! I am thrilled to bits!

Aryan said...

Sid is so much like me. It's not just my statement, so many of my friends and acquaintances have said the same thing. Sid's wayward take on life, his waking up to his responsibilities, his coming-of-age and even his falling in love makes this intelligently romantic movie a huge hit with Generation-Y and even with their parents & elders. I went to see this movie with my extended family of uncles, aunts & cousins - and we all had a blast! Therein lies the film's success.

Pratyush Mukhopadhyaya said...

Wake Up Sid, directed by debutante Ayan Mukerji, is like revisiting those years that lay at some remote corner of your mind, after you moved on in life.


Actually, Wake Up Sid is a slice of life film. It's not merely real in concept, but has also been told most realistically, so much so that you can't help but draw parallels with your life or with someone you know. But what really makes Wake Up Sid most believable is Ranbir Kapoor, who's mastered the craft at such a young age.

Neways was a nice review indeed ...

Anirban Halder said...

As usual, a wonderful take, just like the movie!

Now watch for my review on my blog Kolkata Curry.

Arunima said...

Wake Up Sid is such a refreshing take on romance..i absolutely loved it..As u rightly pointed out the casting couldnt have been better!Really Bollywood off late seems to have woken up to fresh and cool ideas by young directors...Its such a welcome change!!

Sharmee said...

I am glad that I woke up to this wonderful film too..... went to watch it yesterday.... and I laughed and cried with and for Sid. Thank you for recommending the movie in the first place.

mehul said...

Indian movies have been acquiring the polish more & more, thereby investing in sensible story-lines & realistic treatments. Directors like Vishal Bharadwaj, Anurag Kashyap, Farhan Akhtar, Rakeysh Mehra, Reema Kagti, Siddharth Anand, Madhur Bhandarkar, Anurag Basu, Dibakar Banerjee, Onir, Homi Adajania, Shimit Amin and many others have already sounded the clarion call for a change from the staid & cliched norms. But with "Wake Up Sid" (W.U.S), we have truly awakened to a brand new cinema of the masses that is at once fresh & energetic and so full of new-age sensitivity.
I would even say that it is Karan Johar who has hit the bull's eye with "W.U.S." - he has shown that it is in fact easy to trust a newbie (like Ayan Mukherjee) to give a coming-of-age romance a whole new edge.
Anindo, I too am hoping that Bollywood keeps up the good work with a spate of refreshing films. Let "W.U.S." be a genuine gamechanger for Bollywood!

Abhijit Sengupta said...

A well articulated post, thanks Anindo.

Saw 'Wake Up Sid' yesterday, and I simply loved the movie. Its none of those OTT melodrama Karan Johar is associated with. Rather its a refreshing coming-of-the-age tale superbly enacted by the two leading actors, Ranbir and Konkona. I wonder how does Konkona manages to gel so well with all her male leads (of all age groups), be it Rahul, Irrfan or Ranbir! Although I didn't find the story to be a path-breaking one, but Ayan's out-of-the-box style of presenting it was awesome. Kudos to him for gifting us a true rom-com with a hidden mesage!

Bongpen said...

Good OnE!

Its amazing though how almost all the reviews of WUS, has inadvertently bumped on to the quint-essence nostalgia of Dil Chahta Hain!

Riddhidev said...

I must thank you for writing about "Wake Up Sid". The movie really stands out among banal masala films from Bollywood.
Times are surely changing. And fast. Gone are the days of the stereotypes. Gone are the days of the mindless attempts to reach out to the masses with crass entertainers (sic).
Now the script rules. All of the new age directors are either fantastic script-writers themselves or have a sharp sense of the script. Be it Vishal Bharadwaj, Anurag Kashyap, Farhan Akhtar, Dibakar Banerjee, Shriram Raghavan, Shimit Amin, or this very fine young debutant, Ayan Mukherjee - they all are excellent storytellers and are skilled in the craft of narration.
More power to this fresh breed of filmmakers; I too wish them all the best!

Kanika said...

A wonderful movie. An absolute delight. And a cool snappy review.

Sunny said...

Ayan Mukherjee is ready with his next offering, again starring Ranbir....... and I am super-excited!