What an unconventional Bollywood film. There’s no why to our protagonist. There’s no background, no apparent path in which his story is going. It is as directionless as life itself. This is a special kind of writing. All it seems to worry about, is the “now”. With this virtue, it throws out several notions of a screenplay – ups and downs, foreshadowing, payoffs, etc. The absences of these elements are easy to notice, but the film keeps you invested with an endearing tale of unlabeled affection.

This is a journey of a manchild who turns as selfless as a parent for a girl who is in a coma. She was just another colleague when she ended up there, but when he gets to know that her last sentence was about his whereabouts, something spikes inside him. He is well aware and rather rational to acknowledge the fact that it was a casual question, but he is also irrational enough to seek an answer. With such a peculiar story that is hardly relatable, Soojit Sircar does a lot with his subtle staging. Be it the foggy bike rides in the nights of Delhi, the door that substitutes a boy listening to denial from an adult, the disappointed mother at her son’s getaway chai-tapri, he as a director has clearly attempted to go one rung deeper than what was in the words. Then there’s Varun Dhawan with the second meaningful attempt of his career (the first being Badlapur). He might not have extracted empathy out of me, but he managed to make the film a likeable experience by gaining my sympathy alone. Dan is not the kind of guy I’d find a friend in, but he’s definitely someone I’d feel happy for when he finds his footing in life. The two hours I spent with this film have given me that.

This writer-director duo have scored for the third time, and I wish they give us more of such soft-spoken, metaphysical tales that break more conventions of storytelling. I really wish a few elements were louder than they are at the moment, like when we get the reason behind the title, or Dan’s stint as an actual hotel manager. These moments needed more underlining I believe, for they could have been defining punchlines for a film that works purely on subtleties. But Juhi Chaturvedi, you and your sensibilities do have my interest for all ages to come.


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