November Issue 2009
A New Beginning
Karan Johar (KJ) knows how to pick talent — and to market it. Wake Up Sid is directed by debutant director Ayan Mukerji, a 25-year-old who assisted KJ in Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna. Made under the banner of Dharma Productions, Wake Up Sid has the right ingredients for a hit: a feel-good storyline, witty dialogue, solid performances by all cast members and characters you can identify with. Little wonder then that it is currently at the number one spot at the box office all over India.
Siddharth Mehra or Sid, played by Ranbir Kapoor, is unmotivated, lazy and takes his father’s established business for granted. Always late, never attentive in class and constantly wanting to party, Sid doesn’t really give much thought to life after graduation. He is in for a shock when he flunks all his courses in his last semester in college, which is actually a rude wake-up call for the slacker. After an ugly fight with his father (Anupam Kher), he leaves his parents’ house and decides to make it on his own. But not without a lot of help from Aisha (Konkona Sen Sharma), an aspiring writer who has moved to Mumbai from Kolkata, and whom he meets at the college farewell. Aisha is five years older than Sid and although the two share nothing in common — Aisha is independent, ambitious and hardworking — they immediately become good friends. Although the film revolves around Sid, Aisha plays a vital role in making him understand his priorities. His evolution into a responsible adult also includes, among other things, learning how to fry an egg, actually first learning how to crack an egg, and how to do laundry. One of the memorable scenes in the film is the birthday cake Sid makes for Aisha, which is actually a tower of jam-and-bread sandwiches with a candle on top. Kapoor wows audiences as well as critics in a role that seems tailor-made for him as does Sen who, once again, proves that she is among the more talented actors in Bollywood today.
The supporting cast comprising Anupam Kher, Supriya Pathak and Rahul Khanna also turn in credible performances. The soundtrack by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, though average, still has a couple of catchy numbers. The stellar song “Iktara,” hasn’t quite received as much air time on music channels as the other numbers have.
Aptly titled, Sid is a coming-of-age film that doesn’t try too hard; the characters seem real — the kind of people you come across in ordinary life — they don’t dress or talk a certain way just to appear cool, and the story is simple yet refreshing.