Notebook movie cast: Zaheer Iqbal, Pranutan Bahl
Notebook movie diector: Nitin Kakkar
Notebook movie rating: One and a half stars
Kabir is an ex-soldier who begins”educating” five pupils in the middle-of-nowhere public college. To be fair, it’s more of a recreational lodging center, but the definition of schooling is rather loose in this country. He finds the previous instructor’s (Pranutan Behl) diary — that, to be honest, is more of a motivational speech publication interspersed with her own life experiences. Kabir goes from grumpy to the game, regardless of the actor’s theatrical inertia indicating that it is very little between both of these states of existence. The movie is at its easiest when we see the two narratives unraveling concurrently — a fantastic little play on timelines, mildly reminiscent of love across measurements in The Lake House (2006). Their heartbreaks and tribulations merge into one as when they had been occupying the school at the exact same time. Kabir’s breakup is particularly funny; the manager’s passion for theatre — an older bewafa tune matches the rickety rickshaw that Kabir paths his cheating girlfriend — shines through, a characteristic which has been more or less the heart of Filmistaan.
But then you begin to feel the burden of the atmosphere. The politics of the area is forced to the airy doodles of Notebook through Kabir’s super-slow-mo military flashbacks, Firdaus’ intolerant boyfriend and a child’s violent father. Snakes, storms and floating dead bodies double-drive house the island within an allegory of Kashmir. You can sense precisely when Kakkar, that has an eye for atmosphere, heavily compromises to keep his producer’s faith — with the casting of their young debutants, the Being Humankind of kiddie anthems, and particularly when Zaheer Iqbal randomly breaks into Bumro-remix dance moves to demonstrate that his legs move greater than his facial muscles.
Unexpectedly, Kashmir appears to be Bollywood’s du jour flavor for young romances. Or if we say, it’s a return: Kashmir was the go-to spot for heroes to slide down snowy slopes and heroines to pretend to be nice and dandy in their thin chiffons, as they slid right alongside. For several decades, the beautiful valleys and slopes had vanished from our screens. Now they are back.
The Kashmir in Notebook, is, for the most part, as pristine and as magnificent as it’s ever been. Militants and insurgency and the controversial presence of the armed forces are kept at a minimum, revealed in just scant, sanitized glimpses: the rest of it is focused on Kabir (Iqbal) and Firdaus (Bahl) and their connection, which flowers through a notebook, where Hindi is written in English.
There are other things that are inexplicable. A floating college in the middle of nowhere exists for no better reason than to receive two hearts aflutter: seven adorable kids come and go, learning numbers and alphabets from folks who seem as though they’ve never been teachers in their lifetime.
The narrative might have been a cutesy take on loneliness and digital companionship if the writer had bothered to concentrate on the psychology of their protagonists. At one stage, Kabir writes that whenever he overlooks Firdaus, he retains the rope of this schoolbell as if it were her hand. His eyes roll over. I am only happy we weren’t made to find out what else that he felt like”holding” when the craving got worse. In addition, you keep wondering why Kabir just does not ask somebody — the children or his boss — at which Firdaus went, instead of waiting until the second half to notify us that she is not dead. Never mind he can’t teach for nuts. But obviously, studies isn’t Notebook’s priority. The students (of the year) are.
Cute is right, up to a point, however, you can not do cutesy for a whole film. The insistence on a finger in a father who won’t allow his kid go to school is never fully explained. It looks as though the situation exists only for a character to have the ability to state (with regard to kids who are kept from the education system by their own ill-advised elders):’training le kar galat raaste pe jaate dekha hai‘. What a good idea. But maybe not in this airy-fairy, inefficient way that Notebook propounds: the performances by the novices, with Iqbal faring a trifle better than Bahl (with an enviable acting lineage from Shobhana Samarth to Nutan into Mohnish) is just two dimensional as the storyline.