Movie - Wake Up S!d (Hindi)
Director - Ayan Mukherji
Producer - Karan Johar, Hiroo Yash Johar
Cast - Ranbir Kapoor, Konkona Sen Sharma, Anupam Kher, Supriya Pathak, Shikha Talsania, Namit Das and Rahul Khanna
Music - Shankar/Ehsaan/Loy and Amit Trivedi
Cinematography - Anil Mehta ISC
Editing - Shan Mohammed
Background Score - Amit Trivedi
Story, Screenplay - Ayan Mukherji
Dialogues - Niranjan Iyengar
Release Date - 2nd October 2009.
Many of us can instantly relate to the premise of Wake Up Sid. It is the coming-of-age story of a boy who is really confused, clueless, aimless and careless about his life, and how he finally discovers himself. Most of us would have gone through that stage at some point or the other, and some of us are still in that state of mind. So, there is a Sid in every such person and that is what makes this movie delightful. Though the movie does not have a really innovative storyline or narrative, it works very well because of the realistic treatment and the wonderful performances from the cast. The movie feels more like a Farhan Akhtar product rather than a Karan Johar product. Maybe its because only Farhan has tackled this genre in his movies Lakshya and Dil Chahta Hai. Though the movie's plot seems like an extension of Hrithik's flashback sequence in Lakshya on the surface level, it is not exactly that way. You will realize it when you watch the movie.
Sid is a spoilt rich brat who does not care about anything in life other than his friends, partying and spending his dad's money for T-shirts, video games and comic books. He meets Aisha (Konkona Sen) who is a free-spirited, mature girl (5 years older than him) who has come from Calcutta to Bombay, sorry Mumbai [I'm scared of a certain sect of people from that place ;)] to lead an independent life. They become close friends pretty soon. Sid is asked by his dad (Anupam Kher) to work in his office for 30 days and promises to buy him a Porsche if he does so. But Sid leaves after a few days saying that the job is too pakao for him. The issue further deepens when Sid fails in his final exams and is asked to leave the house after a spat with his father. He moves in with Aisha and how both their relationship grows and how Sid finally wakes up from his irresponsible way of life, forms the rest of the story.
The movie has avoided cliched situations, song and dance routines, foreign locations, mushy romantic scenes and rona-dhona also, thankfully. The most relieving part is that this movie is set in Mumbai, unlike the usual products from Karan Johar, which are set either in America or in England. The characters are developed very well and each character has an individuality in the movie. The confrontation scenes are not over-the-top and are acted out very subtly. The romantic angle is also done refreshingly and we do not find the hero and heroine singing a duet at the slightest excuse. The odd casting of Ranbir and Konkona as the lead pair works very well. A very unusual chemistry comes across between the two of them. And most of all, the movie seems very real. Be it the characters, the situations or the dialogues, everything is very realistic. Some of the emotional scenes, especially the interaction between Anupam Kher and Ranbir in the second half, leaves a tear or two in your eyes. The movie is full of wonderful moments which can bring a wide smile on your face. Some of the emotional scenes are brilliant too.
Ranbir is fantastic. He carries the whole film on his shoulders and does a great job at that too. He is completely natural, throughout the movie. Girls would love him, as he plays Sid like he's the cutest guy to have come on screen this year. There is no extra cool-dude kind of acts. Just a casual, laid-back, carefree attitude, which works very well. Ranbir has it all in him to become a future superstar. I didnt like him in his debut film Saawariya. But I thought he was superb in the average flick Bachna Ae Haseeno. But in this movie, he has really proved that he is an actor to look forward to, especially with films like Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani (Rajkumar Santoshi) and Rocket Singh (Shimit Amin) coming up.
The film is as much about Aisha as it is about Sid. Konkona plays Aisha with ease and appears really beautiful also this time around. Though the character is similar to her own character Sona from Luck By Chance, she makes sure that her performance is unique. Watch out for her in the interview scene and even in the scenes towards the climax, she is absolutely brilliant. We all know about her acting capabilities. So its of no use describing how good an actor she is. She also looks very different and attractive in the movie. Another performance to remember from the talented actress. [But the part of her getting a completely hep apartment even before getting a proper job in the big city, was a little hard to believe. (Fault of the writer).]
Shikha Talsania plays one of Sid's best friends. She is a great new actor and is a complete natural. The other best bud, played by Namit Das, is also good. Anupam Kher is outstanding as Mr.Mehra, Sid's father. He rightly portrays all the love, anger and grief that the character goes through. The confrontation scene after Sid's failure in exams, taps the potential of this veteran very well. Supriya Pathak plays Sid's mom (a relief from Kirron Kher, for whom roles like this are tailor-made for) effectively. Her broken English and love for Sid are brought out endearingly. Kashmira Shah and Rahul Khanna come in short cameos and are decent. Rahul Khanna has been doing the same role again and again in movies like Dil Kabaddi, Love Aaj Kal and this one now. He should try and do more different characters. The little boy who stays opposite to Konkona's flat was very cute. Even minor characters make an impact in the movie through well written scenes.
The comparisons to Lakshya and Dil Chahta Hai are inevitable. Lakshya looked like a coming-of-age film, but it ended up being a war film. Whereas Wake Up Sid stays true to the genre. It even pays tribute to DCH when Ranbir quotes the legendary line from DCH, 'Mard ban, Be a Man!!' That was a great touch. Ayan is very impressive in his first outing as a director though a Farhan Akhtar hangover is clearly there. But the way he handles the script and the characters, deserves special mention. He has shown all the maturity of an experienced director in that aspect. Another interesting thing is that the movie's pace is like the graph of Sid's character. It takes its own sweet time to get serious and picks up momentum when Sid also realizes his true self. Technically, the film is almost perfect. The art department, costumes, make-up, editing, etc. are dot on. Cinematography by veteran Anil Mehta (Lagaan, Kal Ho Naa Ho, etc.) contributes tremendously to this movie by capturing all the beauty of Mumbai effectively. Music by Shankar/Ehsaan/Loy sets the perfect mood for the movie. The breezy 'Kya Karoon' is the pick of the lot. Each track works very well in taking the narrative forward. The background score by Amit Trivedi is even more effective. The song 'Iktara' composed by him, is the soul of the romantic track between Sid and Aisha. Its an addictive song and stays with you long after you leave the hall. Its pretty sad that they havent included the second version of that song in the audio album.
There is one thing that I noticed though. Too many good things keep happening, that too very easily. When Hrithik's Karan Sheirgill had to go through a lot of hardships to finally reach his Lakshya, Sid's 'waking up' is pretty easy and effortless. But the director has done one good thing. He has shown Sid going through a process of self-discovery, realizing gradually what he actually wants to do, without telling it all through montage sequences in one song. He starts by learning to fry an egg, clean up his room and then gradually becomes more responsible.
Summing up, this movie deserves to be watched for the performances, the characterisations, and the beautiful feel-good moments. You are sure to leave this movie with a smile on your face. In spite of an often repeated storyline, Ayan Mukherji has come up with a wonderfully fresh movie with its share of lovely moments and performances. Go for it!! You wouldnt be disappointed for sure. In addition to all this, watch it for a wonderful performance from the next superstar-in-the-making, Ranbir Kapoor.
Rating - 4/5