- 1 hr 48 min
Photograph is a 2019 Indian drama film directed by Ritesh Batra. The movie stars Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Sanya Malhotra in lead roles, while Sachin Khedekar, Geetanjali Kulkarni, Robin Das, and Farrukh Jaffar appear in supporting roles. The film tells a simple story of two strangers from different social backgrounds, who slowly and cautiously fall in love while navigating their way through the complexities of life in Mumbai.
The story centers around Rafi (Nawazuddin Siddiqui), a shy and introverted street photographer who takes pictures of tourists at Mumbai's Gateway of India. On one such day, he clicks a photo of Miloni (Sanya Malhotra), a quiet the college student who is forced by her parents to study for her Chartered Accountancy exams. Miloni, who is unhappy with her mundane life, takes a liking to the picture and buys it from Rafi.
Rafi strikes up a deal with Miloni, promising to mail her a copy of the photograph in exchange for her posing as his fiancÃ©e when his grandmother Dadi (Farrukh Jaffar) arrives in Mumbai for a visit. If Rafi doesn't convince Dadi that he's engaged, she will find him a girl to marry in his village. Miloni, who has been living her life according to the will of her parents and society, decides to live a little and agrees to play the role of Rafi's fiancÃ©e. With this, the two embark on a journey of self-discovery, discovering a connection that goes beyond their initially fake relationship.
The relationship between Rafi and Miloni develops gradually â they begin to know each other more and more as they become more familiar with each otherâs lives. The two share time over Mumbai's famed street food, explore South Mumbai landmarks and even exchange stories about their life experiences. However, both of them are aware that their love story has a deadline since Rafi's grandmother will return home after the Tehzeeb festival, and the facade of their love story will end.
The film is beautifully shot, with Mumbai serving as an excellent backdrop for this poignant love story. Batra perfectly captures the everyday lives of people in Mumbai, from the narrow lanes of the city's famous chawls to the bustling beaches of Mumbai. The film is a gentle reminder of how simple pleasures such as looking at movies or having street food can make life a little less complicated and more enjoyable.
Photograph is, in essence, a celebration of love in its most uncomplicated, unassuming form. The film's direction is refreshingly straightforward, without any excess drama, and the performances of both the lead actors are exceptional. Nawazuddin Siddiqui is restrained and understated in his performance as Rafi, while Sanya Malhotra delivers a natural performance as Miloni, her expressions conveying words unspoken. Sachin Khedekarâs appearance in the film is also notable, proving his acting brilliance as Miloni's upwardly mobile father, who is more interested in her daughter's CA scorecard than her happiness.
Overall, Photograph is an evocative and heartwarming film about love that transcends social and economic boundaries. The film captures the spirit of Mumbai, its diversity, and its busy urban living in such an endearing way. This is not just a story about a photograph; it is a story about the lives of two people for whom fate has granted a second chance to redefine their joy, hope, and love. Photograph is a must-watch for those who believe that love can come in the most unassuming ways in life.