Wednesday, November 09, 2011
#234: Wake Up Sid
Wake Up Sid is a story about a lazy, desultory college teen Sid (Ranbir Kapoor) who is coming to terms with a particular phase in his life. The phase happens to be one where his parents no longer want to provide the financial backing he has had all these years because of his aimless pursuits. The first half of the movie unquestionably reminds one of Laqshya. And Ayan Mukherjee, the writer and director uses very similar narratives to show the protagonist's dilemma. The first just about manages to keep you awake but nothing in it is any different from Laqshya. For that one reason alone, Wake Up Sid had me fidgeting in my seat by the first half an hour.
I sat through the movie however because it kept promising to come good any time and that's some credit to Ayan here who does well by adopting a simplistic style of storytelling with a 'no-fuss' air about it. The bond of friendship between the supporting act of Namit Das who plays Rishi, Sid's best friend doesn't have any sense of heroic or unnecessarily dramatic element and that works for the film. The boy-next-door treatment for both these characters was a spot-on characterization that lent to simplicity of the film. Konkona Sen Sharma provides depth with her character of Aisha, a columnist writer who has newly moved to the city. Their platonic bond that sees a few swings becomes a focal point of the story along with Sid's efforts to struggle for his own identity.
The problem, however with this particular piece was the struggle that Aisha faces in her job in writing a single article for a city-based magazine. It was hard to relate to a character who was having such a huge problem in writing one simple article in a city that's bristling with talent 366 days out of 365 in a year. In terms of performances both Ranbir and Konkona's characters' earnestness is something that as an audience one could clearly see but unfortunately both fail to evoke the required empathy. Yet another character Kabir (Rahul Khanna) who for a short while has a romantic liaison with Aisha too falls short on this count. Like the film's story, the music too promised from time to time but lacked a punch in delivery. There's a new age look to the film and that perhaps qualifies it as being fresh but without much substance unfortunately.
Around the time Wake Up Sid released, there was a concerted effort by Dharma Productions to position it as a path-breaking coming-of-age film. There was nothing wrong in what they were trying to do except that the film's storyline promised much and delivered less. It has very few moments of joy or shock and ironically by itself struggled to keep me awake for the most of the second half. It is a journey that's fulfilling, if at all for only the die-hard Ranbir or Konkona fans. There's nothing more to it.