Wake Up Sid Movie Review: ASimple, Honest Take!

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Sunday, October 04, 2009   |  Copyright: BollyCurry  |  Comments 4 Comments  |  8488 Views

Just watched the movie, and here's what I think...this might sound a bit all over the place, so please excuse the lack of sequence and perhaps coherence too, lol...and it's going to be a bit lengthy, so brace yourself if you're still motivated to give it a read...and it contains spoilers as well, tread with caution...
 
 
The thing about Wake Up Sid is that it is a simple, honest take on something many of us might have gone through!
 
I'll begin with what would plausibly be termed the end. When I walked out of the theatre after the movie ended, I realised that what Wake Up Sid gives you as a whole, is a happy, warm feeling inside. The two friends I went with, virtually bobbed out of the auditorium, with ecstatic exclamations of the same three words over and over: "I LOVED it!" And as categorical as it may sound at first, I have to say that I agree.
 
The thing about Wake Up Sid is that it is a simple, honest take on something many of us might've gone through at some point in our lives. It's presented from a more urban upper-middle class point of view, but at the heart of it is something most of us can identify with some part of ourselves, whether it's the dirty, unkempt room, the inability to stay up a night to get through the preparation for the last exam despite repeated alarms and four cups of coffee, the defiance in the face of something that is clearly one's own fault eventhough one would never admit it, the snapping at well-meaning people because of the turmoil inside oneself...all of it comes from something we all share: a little thing called a heart, and the fact that we're all essentially human. We're not perfect, and we can be a right pain in the rear alot of the time, but we are who we are. And it is for us to find ourselves, no credit cards or chhotus can do it for us. This is what Sid Mehra learns the harder way, after he fails his final exam, and yells at his best friend for passing...
 
The movie centers around Sid and Aisha, and that is how it should be, for me. I read alot of reviews that spoke of half-baked characters in Kashmera Shah and Rahul Khanna, but when I watched the movie myself, I think they were there for just the right amount of time, and at the right places too. Any more of them might actually have been an aberration in the flow. I agree that Rahul Khanna has a certain stature, and deserves better, stronger roles, but honestly, if one were to look objectively at the character and not the actor playing him, I think Kabir came in, and went out at the right places, at the right time.
 
The plot is simple enough, and does not need much elaboration...it's a coming-of-age journey for Siddharth Mehra, the rich, lazy, spoilt, irresponsible college slacker, how his paths cross with Aisha Bannerji's, the exact converse of his own perception of life, and how events and circumstances take him from nonchalant innocence to a certain level of maturity. I will not use the 'Boy-To-Man' cliche, simply because I don't think it really fits here. Sid is not a grown, responsible, and overly mature man at the end. The film as I see it, marks the beginning of Sid's journey, and concludes with an open-ended assertion of its continuation through the rest of his life. One of the things that the movie establishes, also, is that it's not all that bad to be childish sometimes, as long as it doesn't make you waste away the life you have. Aisha keeps saying to Sid that he's too kiddish for her, but when she hears the same line echoed in Kabir's words for her, you can't help but see the irony of it. All of us have a bit of Sid Mehra in us, and as the film seems to say, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.
 
The plot is familiar terrain, but what makes the movie work for me is that the familiar never slips into the cliched. You know that Sid is going to have to adjust to a life without anyone to do anything for him, no Pa to take care of his credit card statements, no Ma to clean his room, and no chhotu to give him breakfast, which is why frying an egg is such a big achievement. It's not about how trivial it is to us, but how huge it is to him. I loved that bit, when Aisha comes back from work and is infuriated to find the house in disarray yet again, and Sid has only one explanation to give: "par maine tumhare liye anda banaya," like it explains away every bit of the mess and renders it quite irrelevant. And the way he cleans up after she leaves is also one of the sweetest scenes in the movie. 
 
The highlight of the film for me, were the scenes that stayed with me even after the movie had ended. Ayan Mukherji and Anil Mehta have managed to create some very beautiful, warm and poignant moments, which shine in their very simplicity and honesty. To name a few of my favourites, in order of appearence, Sid's snapping at his mother for cleaning his room and then promptly giving her a shirt to fold, the impromptu bread-and-jam birthday cake for Aisha, Sid's confrontation with his father after failing, Laxmi's visit to Sid after he's moved in with Aisha (that scene was really endearing and absolutely hilarious ), his getting an internship at Mumbai Beat with Aisha's help and while leaving, rushing out of a moving auto just to give her a hug as a silent gesture of thanks, his making up with Rishi (a little unexpected but again quite real and not emotionally over the top), his visit home to meet his mother, Sid and Aisha coming back from a Mumbai Beat party, quite tipsy, and falling asleep in a close embrace (one of the sweetest, most tender moments in the movie, and very well executed, especially because the aftermath is not the cliched waking up in each other's arms but Sid waking up to find Aisha sleeping on his bed-spread, a little distance away), Aisha's reaction when she sees him moving out, Sid wearing Aisha's kurta when he's back at his own house, and many more that I could count out, but then that would be giving you the whole movie in writing, and I've already given you about half of it anyway, lol.  
 
I have to mention my favourite moment though. This is when Sid lands at Aisha's doorstep after his confrontation with his father. And this scene belongs to Ranbir Kapoor. The way he stands absolutely still, and says in an expressionless monotone, "kya main yahan reh sakta hoon?", and when Aisha realises that this isn't a joke and asks him what's happened, the tears that well up in his eyes before he can stop them, the way he breaks right there, giving in to the urge to just hug Aisha tight, and let himself go. Brilliantly done by Ranbir, and excellently supplemented by Konkona.
 
Needless to say, both Ranbir and Konkona are outstanding, and the best part of it is that you don't really give it much thought. They just carry off their respective roles so effortlessly and so breezily, that you see the characters in flesh, blood and soul right before your eyes. Ayan Mukherjee gives the film a young, positive and refreshing feel, weaving a famliar story in his own, unique way. And he impresses too. The art direction and cinematography are brilliant as well, with Sid's room, Aisha's house as well as the Mumbai Beat office having a whole living rhythm of their own, beating with the elements that make up their inhabitants' selves. Each member of the cast does justice to the role they've been given. Anupam Kher does the stern yet loving Pa quite well, while Supriya Pathak does the old world mother struggling with a generation gap and trying to build bridges, very endearlngly. Sid's friends make a very sweet picture of bonhomie, and Rahul Khanna plays the young, suave, urban intellectual editor-in-chief with panache.
 
Ranbir and Konkona as a pair work really well for me too, especially because the love story built around them is not in the typically mushy romantic mode, but is more of a natural, instinctive cameraderie. It is friendship that always has love lying just under the surface, very visible to the discerning eye. When it finally rises above it and is out in the open at the end, there is a sense of fulfilment to it that really leaves you with a happy vibe. As for the pace, the initial bit of the first half could have been a little crisper, but the second half is outstanding.
 
Bottomline: Wake Up Sid is simple, honest, energetic and happy. And the entire team makes it work. Don't expect an intense moral statement from it, just some good fun and a good vibe, and a story that might just inspire in an indirect manner of its own. I'd really recommend it for those of you looking forward to a peaceful, happy weekend, with some plain and simple positivity. Watch it for Ranbir and Konkona too, they're absolutely brilliant.
 
Rating: 4 out of 5 chillies!
 
By: nandinidev (India-Forums)

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  • Posted on: 26 October 2009 at 3:22pmcooks09

    excellent movie, brilliant acting by konkana and ranbir

  • Posted on: 23 October 2009 at 1:08ampallavi25

    I really want to watch this movie! Konkona is a brilliant actress and Im sure Ranbir has matched her in performance!

  • Posted on: 04 October 2009 at 5:33amnondescript

    Nandini :)

    Heyloo :)
    Just managed to read, and WOW! I haven't watched the movie yet, (Theatrical trailers have been awesome!!- especially the Wake Up Sid song) but you have described it so well, that I think I am going to persuade my friends and catch it with them next weekend.

    Thanks for the review- will chip in my two cents back to you after watching

    Peace Out
    Much Love Hannahxxx

  • Posted on: 03 October 2009 at 2:27pmgk_09

    Amazing Review nandinidev! Will try to catch it this weekend.

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