'October' Review: A soulful film elevated by Varun Dhawan's intense performance

A Potpourri of Vestiges Review

By Murtaza Ali Khan

Featured in IMDb Critic Reviews

Varun Dhawan in October

October is the latest offering from Shoojit Sircar whose previous directorial venture Piku won as many as three coveted National Awards—for Best Actor, Best Original Screenplay, and Original Dialogues. This time around Shoojit brings the story of a group of hotel management trainees working at a leading hotel in Delhi. Written by Juhi Chaturvedi, who also wrote Piku, October stars Varun Dhawan and Banita Sandhu in the lead roles. The film costars Gitanjali Rao and Sahil Vedoliyaa. 

October’s central character is Danish Walia aka Dan who is by far the most eccentric of the hotel management trainees. He often seems bored with his life at the hotel and his supervisor doesn't seem to like him one bit. He is often assigned tasks which he hates such as cleaning and laundry. Dan is generally rude to everyone around him, including the hotel guests. But his mistakes are covered up by his friends who even put in extra time to save Dan from the administration’s wrath. Dan's life takes a dramatic turn when Shiuli, one of the trainees at the hotel, meets an accident, ending up in a state of coma. Dan undergoes a transformation on seeing her in a vegetative state in the ICU. The rest of the story is about Dan coming to terms with harsh realities of life and the need to be true to oneself.
Varun Dhawan and Banita Sandhu in October
Varun Dhawan and Banita Sandhu in October
October features Varun Dhawan's most intense performance since Badlapur. It’s a kind of a complex portrayal that will make everyone take him more seriously as an actor. With October Shoojit Sircar yet again proves why he is one of the best in Bollywood when it comes to character driven films (Yahaan, Vicky Donor, Madras Café, and Piku). It is really interesting to see a film being made about hotel management trainees and Sircar, to his credit, doesn’t leave any stone unturned in bringing the different aspects of hotel management to light.

Overall, October is a soulful film that teaches us never to lose hope. Credit to Sircar for giving refreshing treatment to a subject that's been done to death in cinema. While October doesn't have the boisterousness of Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s Anand or the bittersweet romance of A Walk to Remember, the honest performances of Varun Dhawan and the newcomer Banita Sandhu make it a memorable experience. A well-intentioned drama, October requires patience from its viewers. But, if you are looking for a quintessential Bollywood masala film then October is not for you. 

Rating: 7/10

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October (Trailer)

Readers, please feel free to share your opinion by leaving your comments. As always your valuable thoughts are highly appreciated!  

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