A picture is worth a thousand words. Ritesh Batra’s Photograph is worth so many more. Following up his brilliant debut film, The Lunchbox, Batra returns to Indian cinema. This time to tell us a story about love in unexpected places. Photograph strives to challenge the current societal perceptions of identity, class, and love.
Nawazudin Siddiqui is in form with this performance, easily slipping into the role of a mild-mannered man who takes photos of tourists at Gateway of India. His usual subtlety and grit is once again showcased here. However, this is nothing new for such an acting powerhouse. The real star of the film is Sanya Malhotra, who outshines everyone in this film. Having started a mere 3 years ago, Malhotra has shown her versatility as an actor through the various types of characters she has embodied. From a firebrand abusive sibling in Pataakha to a quite introverted student in this film.
Batra has much to say with this film. On one hand you have a middle aged photographer who works daily to earn a meager living and on the other a young woman from a well-to-do family who studies for her CA exam. Both feel imprisoned in their lives and yearn for something different. This serves as the basis for their initial attraction towards each other because they get a taste of what the other has to offer. It is also nice to see a portrayal of romance that doesn’t get bogged down on physicality. Batra posits a perspective that makes you nostalgic of the films of yesteryear when a simple glance by the hero was enough to convey emotions.
Filled with subtle performances, witty dialogue, and sophisticated three dimensional characters, Photograph is a must watch movie of 2019.
I give it 4 out of 4 Lunchboxes!