Friday, October 02, 2009

Wake Up Sid

Rating : 6/10
Release Date : 2nd Oct, 2009
Time : 140 minutes
Director & Writer : Ayan Mukerji; Music : Shankar Ehsaan Loy
Starring : Ranbir Kapoor, Konkona Sen Sharma, Anupam Kher, Supriya Pathak, Namit Das, Shikha Talsania, Rahul Khanna

I sometimes feel that the world, and especially India, is full of people who don’t know what they want to do. They know what they want – lots of money, a fancy car etc but are clueless on how to get it and desperately seek a shortcut. A quick course or the right headhunter that can get them the right job, preferably one where they don’t have to work too hard.

I appeared as a guest on a career advice show (Stay Hungry, hosted by Rashmi Bansal, on UTVi News every Thursday at 1730) – where we were asked similar questions including ‘which course / institute can offer you the best ROI ?’ and other such confused queries. And then co-incidentally I went for this film where we met Sid, who’s equally confused about what he wants to do in life. He’s academically challenged, loves to party, goes to a cool college, has cool friends but has no idea of what he wants to do with his life. And there is one very important difference vs the other people described above. He is the only son of very rich, doting / indulgent parents. His father (Anupam Kher) fought his way up from a very poor chawl background to establish India’s best bathroom fittings company, which helps most Indians bathe. But none of his missionary zeal has rubbed off on his son who is happy being waited upon by the chirpy Chottu (the man Friday of the house) or playing video games or driving his fancy SUV and coveting an even better one.

And then something happens and he has to Wake Up. By then he’s made friends with Konkona, whom he met on her first day in Mumbai. She’s come from Kolkata, middle class background, is reasonably focused, clear what she wants and gets her dream job. Now Sid has to figure out what he wants. And he has to change.

In the first half, debutant director Ayan, got the lingo, the college environment, the whole atmosphere just right. The characters are engaging, the tone peppy and upbeat. The humour good, several smile moments. ‘Tum hero ban jao, waise bhi kuch nahin karte’. Or Konkona in her job interview ‘main bahut creatively clean karungi yeh desk’. Or ‘Bas pata nahin itni nervous hungi aur aap itne handsome’ in the same interview. Or even Ranbir’s colourful boxers.

In the second half, though, Ayan doesn’t seem as sure footed, the film suffers from a certain aimlessness and a huge dollop of predictability. Things change too easily, everything, including success, finding focus, realisation, love etc happens without any of the grit, sweat or toil we are accustomed to in real life. The solutions and the dialogues are a bit too pat. The film offers a very rose-tinted outlook, it persists with remaining light hearted and peppy, which is not a bad thing, but even in the ‘tough parts’. And the end is too predictable, too formulaic, too cheesy. Leaves you empty, emotionless as you walk out of the hall.

However, some other good points were the scenes / pictures of Mumbai, showcasing the nice, quirky parts without the grime. The music, which really helps contribute to the general frothiness. And the casting. All of the ensemble was excellent – the parents, the neighbours, the friends (including Tiku Talsania’s daughter), and Rahul Khanna as the sophisticated, slightly supercilious boss, all came across very credibly. Konkona continues to impress, she has one of the most expressive faces in the Hindi film industry and manages to communicate all emotions very naturally. She brings that Bengali gravitas and sensuousness to the role – a truly good choice for this part. Ranbir was good. He had not more than 2-3 expressions in the first half of the film, a blank look and a slightly frowning one and he brought off both well. For me, he’s still weak in the emotive parts but good enough overall here.

This one is at best a one time watch and suffers in comparison to other films of its ilk like Lakshya and Dil Chahta Hai, which can bear unlimited multiple viewings. A lot of the youth of today, though, will identify with the aimlessness of Sid in the first half. And will aspire to the short, easy way he got everything in the second half and pray similar improbable miracles will happen to them as well. Good luck to them…


Anonymous said...

I think Ranbir did a brilliant job with the role of Sid, and the emotions were just too good! The right dose, i would say. Much better that Hrithik in Lakshay.

Anonymous said...

Konkana simply brilliant...

Divya Prakash said...

someway this ends on happy node inspires as well ..Ultimately Sid and Aish were able to discover what actually they wanted to do …this concept of ultimately discovering yourself ticks for me at least
*I’m back here after 2 months and undoubtedly I missed many well written reviews !!

Divya Prakash Dubey

Apurv Nagpal said...

Hi !
Divya - welcome back...where were you ?
Partha - its a personal opinion but its Hrithik for me any day...

Unknown said...

Hi Apurv

Old AFFBS student. I am proud ofyou. Any clue where arun kumar is.

Anonymous said...

Hi Apurv

Old AFFBS student,I am proud of you. Any clue where arun kumar is.

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