Monthly Archives: January, 2012

Film Review: Good Night Good Morning

I had been reading a lot of good things about Good Night Good Morning all over my frequented places on the internet. I was tempted enough to catch a preview, but I had my doubts about how a movie about a night-long conversation between strangers was going keep me interested.. By the time the movie ended, I wished they kept talking.

Set in New York on the night of New Year, the film is shot in black and white, save some imagined sequences. There are references to much-loved hits from cinema and music, casually peppered throughout the film. The universal appeal of the movie lies in these factors – it gives you a sense of timelessness, that this could be happening to anyone, anywhere, anytime.

Four guys having their own party in a bar, meet a single girl, Moira (Seema Rahmani). She politely, but curtly sends them packing. One among the men, Turiya (Manu Narayan) has smartly noticed that she is staying in a certain room at a hotel. Drunk, and feeling particularly courageous after being encouraged by his cronies , he calls her while they are driving to Philadelphia. She is spending the night alone, waiting to catch a flight in the morning. Here begins one of the most real and charming conversations among strangers in recent film history, that reminds you of the loneliness and alienation one feels in spite of the thousand and more ways we have invented to “keep in touch” with the numerous people on our friends lists and chat lists and in the phone book.

They flirt, they toss pick-up lines, they assume new identities, they share personal stories, they playfully challenge each other, they discuss movies, they reveal their insecurities, their beliefs, their needs. They know it is just a random conversation for one night and the anonymity helps them let down their guard. So they lay bare their souls, and end up sharing more with each other than one would with their best friend.

The intimate nature of the dialogue plays a huge part in keeping the audience rooted to their seats for the little-over-an-hour duration that the film runs. It is honest, engaging and very real. The seductiveness of the interaction is held in the cryptic exchange of words – careful enough to not express too much, but expecting the other to get the drift of what is being said. And even the audience realises that leaving the mind open to probabilities is happier and more comforting than coming to a definite conclusion. It may be a tad unsettling, but for the heart has just found a friend, it can spot the proverbial silver-lined cloud even in the bleakest of times.

The lead actors leave you wanting more. Narayan, who believes in “happily ever afters” is lovelorn and attractively cocky and Seema swings from being brazenly flirtatious one moment to philosophical and mature the next – and very effortlessly. Together, they end up creating very memorable and likeable characters. There are 3 other characters, but they justifiably have very little to do.

Good Night Good Morning is directed by Sudhish Kamath, who writes for The Hindu, and written by him and Shilpa Rathnam. It is an independent film that makes you wish more film makers treated their art with such respect and love rather than resorting to solely money-making gimmicks like exotic locales, melodrama, big stars and item numbers.

The film reaffirms your faith in the power of script-backed cinema supported by strong acting and a keen sense of filmmaking. The entire team makes this film look effortless, like something born out of love. You, as the audience are bound to reach out and meet them halfway. That, is the sign of a piece of art, which makes you want to revisit and appreciate it again.
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