Work being as it is, I hardly get a chance to enjoy a movie in a theatre. Thanks to a generous relative, we were presented a DVD player and even then, it took more than two weeks to get it connected to the TV (I am so bad at these things). So, finally, when the DVD player was up and working, I chose to watch a movie after dinner past midnight. The relative was so generous that he ensured we had something to watch and, so, he had sent taped versions of some very popular films. One of them was Wake Up, Sid. And that was how I got to watch the film last night.
Being mostly from the old stock, born as I was in the early part of the heady Sixties, a decade that is hard to beat, I am often given to scoffing at the films of today – poor script, hardly any storyline or a predictable one at that, violence and gore, where are the real heroines, etc. Many films of the old days – and I am not talking about Raj Kapoor and Guru Dutt’s films – had interesting plots and lovely songs with adequate doses of humour thrown in. So, I tend not to expect too much while watching any Hindi film nowadays.
Wake Up Sid, too, has hardly any strong storyline. It is a well-made film, with a simple, easy-to-understand script. Sid, the boy who really never grows up to be a man, meets Aysha at a college campus while clicking pictures of her. Rather unusually, she warms up to him almost instantly and they get talking. She is the new girl in the city of Mumbai (Bombay still sounds so much better) and he is the prefect first friend. He helps her settle down in rented premises, whitewashes and paints it to make it feel like home, and finds he’s happy doing all that. Sid does not want to get into his dad’s business; all he’s good at is whiling away his time and on occasions taking pictures. Eventually, when, after a showdown with his dad, he chooses to leave home, he has a refuge ready – Aysha’s place.
No, they don’t sleep on the same bed. Remember, he’s still a boy… and she thinks so, too. But now, she’s found work in a newspaper office. And, so, Sid looks after Aysha’s home. Life is not easy for him though. He messes up her place, can’t boil an egg, and prefers to starve the first day till she comes and rustles up something for him to eat. As he tries to please her, he learns. But somehow ends up ruffling her feathers every time.
Days pass and dad and son patch up. Sid is ready to leave for his own home. Aysha can’t bear to see him leave; she’d already become possessive about him, not able to tolerate his going out with a female colleague. Sid never really does grow up to be a man, enough to kindle the kind of feelings Aysha once tells her neighbour that she doesn’t have for him. But things have suddenly changed. And doing the trick is plain water. All that Sid does is squirt water all over Aysha and there she is, pursing her lips in that typical sensuous way, wary of his ‘manly’ presence. He himself can’t quite understand why she is behaving differently, but there you are – for Aysha, Sid is now husband material and the love of her dreams.
The ending is just as it should be – a tear-jerking hug and the words the audience want to hear. There’s no violence, no great song or dance routine. No great story either. The film’s success has to do with some good acting by both Ranbir Kapoor and Konkona Sen, and an effective and honest portrayal of the most powerful emotion on earth called love. May there be more films of this kind.