A good story need not always be something new. It could be a story we all know, but told well, differently, engagingly. And that is what makes Wake Up Sid such a watchable film.
Siddhharth Mehra’s story is something we have seen, read, heard so many times that there are no surprises really. But Ranbir Kapoor’s easy charm and some excellent styling (what a cool collection of T-s and socks!) help endear this goofy, dreamy, artistic and bumbling character, who at times looks straight out of the comic books he is so much in love with.
The film traces the journey of this lovable but good-for-nothing guy, who lives by his dad’s money and his credit card, as he flits around, fails, and finds friendship in the unlikeliest places. A typical coming-of-age story, that has no twists or turns or surprises, but has a certain lyrical quality which makes this 150-minute film a feel-good watch.
Squeaky-clean and funny, the film, does not take itself too seriously, while taking up some serious issues. It tells us that it is okay for a young guy to fall in love with an older woman, it is okay for a kid to have a crush on a sexy neighbour, it is okay to fail and make new friends and move on, and it is okay to take your time to figure out your life.
There are some subtle, brilliant and incredibly funny moments in Wake Up Sid, which is bound to strike a chord with many of us, especially those living in Mumbai. Director Ayan Mukherji (who belongs to the famous Mukherji clan of filmdom) does tend to simplify a lot of things for the sake of artistic freedom – like the near-absence of grey characters, the surprising ease with which a single woman finds a home in this city and the way the neighbourhood accepts her male roommate to name just a few. Things like these are offset by the narrative and some sparkling performances by a refreshingly new supporting cast and an achingly-sweet performance by Supriya Pathak as Sid’s loving-to-a-fault, naïve mother, who tries hard to learn English so that she could be “friends with her son”. And of course Konkona Sen Sharma, who puts in an expectedly brilliant performance as the fiercely independent but romantic Bengali girl. A word here though, the lady desperately needs a better stylist who can pull her out of those kurtas and flared denims.
The background score, which features some melodious numbers by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, a song by Amit Trivedi and some great guitar-playing by Ehsaan Noorani, add layers to this nuanced film, while the cinematography gives our city a comic-book feel, with each frame bursting with trendy colours and elegant lines. The dialogues are witty, measured and very real.
Wake Up Sid, has obviously drawn inspiration from Dil Chahta Hai, Lakshya and so many others, that you may feel a little let down by the basic premise of the film. But once again, it is the treatment that makes the difference.
It is easy to find faults with this film, just as it is easy to fall in love with it.
By Chandrima Pal