Run time: 109 mins
Writer-director Ritesh Batra captures working-class life through a personal lens in this study of two divergent worlds in one city.
In Mumbai, Rafi (Siddiqui) works as a photographer snapping tourists at the Gateway. When he takes a photo of Miloni (Malhotra), she gets away without paying, but something about her strikes a nerve. So when his grandmother Dadi complains once again that he’s unmarried, he sends her Miloni’s picture and tells her she’s his girlfriend. When Dadi wants to meet her, Rafi manages to track her down and come along for lunch. Initially posing as his fiancée, the pair gradually form a powerful connection which transforms their lives over the coming days.
Quiet reflection is the key in which Batra works, a trait found in his previous international hit The Lunchbox, likewise exploring gentle, unexpected love. Siddiqui and Malhotra are superb as people who are mismatched on several levels, but still notice each other. Their pairing might be far-fetched, but that’s the point, both actors adding weight to the internal journeys. It’s a film much more about individual experience than throwaway romance. (Research Chris Coetsee)