Photograph Movie Review 2019: Too Grainy To Be Clearly Understood

If a bullock cart pace and an incomprehensible story are signs of intellectual cinema, then I'm happy to be a common person because I just couldn't connect with Ritesh Batra's Photograph.

Photograph Movie Review 2019: Too Grainy To Be Clearly Understood Photograph Movie Review 2019: Too Grainy To Be Clearly Understood Source : Press


If a bullock cart pace and an incomprehensible story are signs of intellectual cinema, then I'm happy to be a common person because I just couldn't connect with Ritesh Batra's Photograph.


There's an imbalance in the presentation. You know everything that you need to know about Rafi who makes a living taking photographs of visitors to Gateway of India. He lives in general shabbiness and shares sleeping space with several other beds in the same crammed room. But there's great camaraderie in the mohalla where everybody knows everybody. So at every turn, everybody tells him that Dadi, his stubborn grandmother in the village, has gone off her medicines until he agrees to get married. Right from how he sends all his money home to pay off an old family debt to why he buys a kulfi only on the last day of the month, you know the man inside out.


It's the opposite with Miloni Shah, the glum-faced topper at Anmol Sir's coaching classes. Comfortably placed in a Gujju family where her father talks proudly of his two daughters, there's no visible tension or conflict in that harmonious setup. ButMiloniis unresponsive and unenthusiastic right from the word go with no hint of an explanation.


Why a pretty Gujju girl from a normal family would agree to pretend to be Noorie, an unknown photographer's make-believe fiancée, just to appease his grandmother, has to be worked out in your head. Batra doesn't make the effort.


The effort to sit through well-framed but slow-moving images and to make sense of what's going on is also all yours. Batra plonks Anmol Sir from the coaching class suddenly on the road to force a coffee date on Miloni, an obvious ploy to show her choice when she opts to go with Rafi instead.


Except for a passing reference by the Dadi that they belong to two different religions, it's not a Hindu-Muslim conflict story. Nor is it a rich girl-poor boy premise. It's left hanging in the air in the last scene.


If having to decode why unsmiling Miloni likes slumming or what Batra has in his head, is tender cinema, then it's lost on me.



Verdict:
I know there will be that negligibly slim percentage that will laugh at the banter between Rafi and his grandmother and look for reasons to applaud this pretentious fare. Of course, Nawazuddin Siddiqui blends into the role of Rafi as he always does. But honestly, I missed the vibrance of Ritesh Batra's first film Lunchbox.

For a film that's slow and doesn't make an easy connect, Photograph gets a 2* rating.


Disclaimer: We are proud that LehrenTV reviewer Bharathi S Pradhan has been appointed an advisory member of the prestigious CBFC. However, her reviews reflect her personal appraisal of a film and do not in any way speak on behalf of the Censor Board.


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