Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Wake Up Sid - the cult movie

Wake Up Sid to me was a nice wake up call of the kind of great movies being made in India that were more edgy and closer to urban reality, but done in an engaging commercial format without being arthouse.

In the case of Wake Up Sid (WUS), I can safely say that I am not the only one but nearly everyone I know saw the movie much much later after it was released, and all of them had the same reaction. They absolutely loved it - pretty much like everyone & I did. Pity it wasn't a superhit when it was released, as it rightfully should have been.

In the case of WUS, I fell in love, as in absolutely enthralled with the songs.  The song Aaj Kal Zindagi actually gave me goosebumps.  I am a fan of Shankar Ehsaan Loy (SEL) and look forward to their new releases, and they almost always are superhits.  In WUS the hit song Iktara was done by another promising music director - and that was one of those Zen like songs that almost seemed to be off-putting, I mean the song was lovely but not really sure how it would play out in the movie, and who’d want to see a movie if the song was this deep? (thats just me, all shallow & superficial - cant handle such intense movies please!!)

As I listened to Aaj Kal Zindagi however, I actually had goose bumps. All the songs lyrics were written by Javed akhtar, and in this song it seemed to be all about me (as EVERY listener must have felt).  The song was elevated further by Shankar’s voice and SEL’s music, as you listened to the paras, I simply had to close my eyes as tears rolled down. It was outstanding.

The movie had come in and gone without a trace, and I was abroad at that time where Indian movie releases were usually only the ones with SRK or Salman Khan, the smaller ones rarely got released.

Its only a year later when I chanced upon the DVD that I took it home, and saw this nearly a month later as I still had a long list of International movies’ DVDs to catch up on.  My family and I saw WUS on the weekend, and we saw it again the same weekend.  It was one of the few movies which seemed like appointment viewing and could keep us entranced for its full duration.

To begin with the songs were not killed and any great expectations I had were not dashed, because in this movie the songs are in the background and not sung dancing around trees like playback singing is done in Bollywood movies.  Each song contributed in adding so much depth and layers to the movie, it was dramatic n profound.

the movie was simply put about a rich brat (not spoilt) who discovers life truths and what he wants to be, as he is thrown out of his house when he fails his college. He’s just met a girl who he and his friends had helped find a house, and moves in with her.  She also almost throws him out but decides to give him another chance, and he lives up the deal learning to manage around the house while also succeeding.

It was warm, mushy, romantic but done so beautifully you forgave all that loopholes in the story.

Konkona Sen sharma is the one who stands out and IMHO she’s got the best dialogue delivery in Hindi cinema’s new generation. Very few folks come close.  She also is fairly restrained and does a great job in this movie.

Whats great is every character in the movie has been crafted in such loving detail that it shows, you fall in love and have affection for all of them.  Everyone from the neighbors to Sid’s friends circle to Konkona’s hunky boss come alive and are relatable.

The best movies that I fell in love had one common detail which the forgettable underperformers didn't - and that was the background music.  In WUS the background score was also done by SEL and each scene has its uniquely crafted music which makes it that much more magical (also seen in other movies scored by SEL like kal ho na ho, and dil chahta hai).

Ranbir Kapoor who plays Sid also seemed to have transformed quite a bit and a far cry from his regular commercial movies and showed a lot of promise.

better late than never.  what surprised me was nearly a year after I had seen this movie there’d be exclamations of delight in SocMed where some friend would see the movie finally and say how much s/he loved it.  so i was not that late for once.  I think the movie captured the urban life real well.

But better late than never. Hope you get to see it, and like it as much as we did.