Posts Tagged ‘Paddy Chayefsky’

Sanya Malhora, Nawazuddin Siddiqui

“PHOTOGRAPH” My rating: B-

110 minutes | MPAA rating: PG-13

For most American moviegoers the Indian cinema is defined by the conventions of Bollywood: song and dance, silly plots, sexless romance.

Rites Batra’s “Photograph” is a reminder that this is a narrow view. Here’s a melancholy study of lives that, if not in crisis, are at a sort of crossroads. And there isn’t a dance routine in sight.

Rafa (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) takes photos of visitors to Mumbai’s tourist traps. He’s come to the big city from a faraway village with the intention of earning enough to buy back his family’s ancestral home.  But it’s an uphill climb. He lives in a metal-roofed loft with four other provincials scrambling to survive on the mean streets. At least his roomies are fun-loving and entertaining; Rafi does little more than brood.  When he delivers half a grin it’s an event.

Miloni (Sanya Malhora) is the second daughter of a solidly middle-class family. She’s studying to be an accountant, takes no girly interest in clothing or boys, and while she’s not exactly plain, she doesn’t stand out in a crowd, either.

“Photograph” relates how these two inarticulate strangers meet (Rafi takes Miloni’s picture) and become confidants, each using the other to fend off their families’ insistent attempts at matchmaking. They don’t realize it, but they’re as close to soulmates as they’re likely ever to find.


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