Once upon a time, when people weren’t so different and would complain about their problems & sufferings to everyone around them, God decided to carry out a little contextual activity. Sadistic it may seem, but the master of the world took them all to the ‘Great Tree of Sorrows’ and told all the complainers to hang each of their complaints, sufferings on the branches of that tree. They gayly did as told, went back home and slept like babies. When they woke up next morning, they didn’t know that the activity wasn’t over yet. They were once again taken to the tree and this time, they were told to pick any kind of sorrow from the tree which they thought they could deal with. You know what happens next.(If you don’t, you will)
Cut to Shoojit Sircar’s ‘October’. 21 year old Dan (Varun Dhawan), a boy who works at Radisson Blu, despite having all the qualifications, is always given the more trivial jobs leading to him monkeying around and constantly trying to pursue a more dignified job at the hotel.
Unlike the people in the fictional tree story, Dan does leave his sorrows behind and inadvertantly picks the grief of Shiuli who is on the verge of falling into a vegetative state, and turns into a pillar for her wailing family who has almost but lost hope. For the first time since his first film, Varun Dhawan so sincerely delves into the simply complicated character of Dan and becomes a wonder to watch. Bollywood debutante Banita Sandhu delivers a brilliant performance which will stay under rated but unforgettable.
The beauty of the film lies in its treatment of tragedy which is infused with comedy, a classic sign of brilliant film-making once again done right by Sircar. In a patient & what-can-be-called a slow-paced screenplay, the 1 hour 55 minutes long film dares to play sans a single song despite having melodies by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan & Armaan Malik in its album. What’s worth mentioning is one more example of unusual & unconventional screenwriting by Juhi Chaturvedi, all expressed in the metaphor-rich ‘October’, a story of unconditional love & self discovery.