Photograph is a cinematic experience of emotions through the characters of Rafi and Miloni
Direction: Ritesh Batra
Cast: Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Sanya Malhotra
Ritesh Batra throws light on the old-fashioned romance set in Mumbai. The main protagonist Rafi (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) is a Muslim from an impoverished village and a photographer. Rafi lives in a slum and his family is nothing except his grandmother who wants him to get married soon. Rafi has lost his parents before.
Batra has made the opposite qualities in the female protagonist to make the storytelling more powerful. Miloni (Sanya Malhotra) is a city-based girl who looks much better to Rafi. Miloni has her parents and they’re planning an arrange marriage for them. They both have different casts and approaches.
Batra is very clear on his lead characters that it leaves some missing point in everyone’s story. He has given some toughness with the weakness in each character as we saw in Lunchbox.
This is only the second Ritesh Batra film which is not adapted from a novel. His two adapted films were A Sense of an Ending and Our Souls At Night were set outside India. Coincidentally other two films Lunchbox and Photograph is set in Mumbai. Both pictures have Nawazuddin Siddiqui.
The story starts with Miloni who is on the poster and her parents are proud but Miloni looks depressed. Miloni meets Rafi at The Gateway of India who is urging tourists to have a photograph on his camera. Rafi finds Miloni who agrees to take the picture and later she runs away without paying.
Now we meet the grandmother of Rafi (Farrukh Jaffar) who is searching for a girl for his grandson. Rafi sends the picture of Miloni to his grandmother and claims that they’re in the relationship. Grandmother makes a decision to see Rafi and Miloni. Rafi tries to find the girl that he can convince her to play the role in his false story for granny.
Photograph is a cinematic experience of emotions and the brilliance of Ritesh Batra through the characters of Rafi and Miloni . He does his own makeover to present the story from a different world.
Photograph swims through the water of the city and portraits are the different characters who have their own stories. Rafi, Miloni and Rafi’s grandmother are one of them. Batra added some scenes to understand the inner thoughts of male and female protagonist.
Rafi and Miloni have their inner things in life like she is not so communicative with her family and she had an experience of sexual harassment by her teacher. She chats with her maid and decides to be a farmer.
Ben Kutchin’s camerawork is beautiful and steady. He captured Mumbai in a sweet way. You would admire the background score by Peter Raeburn which is sweet and carries the plot. You clearly signify Ritesh Batra’s cinematic style who uses simple frames and simple music to narrate the story. Indians would relate it easily if they have seen Lunchbox.
Ritesh Batra has emerged the emotions between Rafi and Miloni. On the other hand, the relation between Rafi and his grandmother have another emotion.
Photograph is a cinematic experience of emotions and the brilliance of Ritesh Batra through the characters of Rafi and Miloni. His protagonists represent the different part of the society where majority of us can relate.
Ritesh does his own makeover to present the story from a different world. Differentiate the characters of Lunchbox and Photograph, at least you would find some similarities. Photograph is something you cannot miss but it’s for the different audience. Still, I would recommend you to watch Lunchbox first to understand Ritesh Batra style. This old-fashioned romance is pure gold.