Ritesh Batra‘s ‘Photograph‘ is about a struggling street photographer, Rafiq (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) at Mumbai’s Gateway of India. He convinces an introvert young Miloni (Sanya Malhotra) to pose for a picture. The movie is about self-discovery and charming slow burn romance. The shy strangers gradually become an acquaintance and later develop feelings while living a lie, made to convince the photographer’s grandmother.
Miloni pretends to be Rafiq’s fiancee. Keeping aside their societal, academical, and religious differences, they discover a lot in common, including their nature to bottle up emotions. The film perfectly captures the simple joys of life such as Nostalgia, soul-searching, and childhood. ‘Photograph’ incorporates these emotions fairly and succeeds in it. The film forces one to read the minds of their as words don’t come easily to them. One can often notice how the Nawaz and Sanya have undividedly exchange subtle glances and co-exist in stillness.
Nawazuddin once again stands out with a brilliant performance, while Sanya initially struggles but catches up her stance in front of an actor like Nawaz. He is a master of his craft and conveys his emotions effortlessly.
The movie is a bit slow paced and some might find that frustrating but Batra’s storytelling is heartwarming with the perks of dreamy Mumbai and its food. The film at certain points lacks solid writing which eventually struggles to keep you engaged.
‘Photograph’ has an ambiguous end, where the film leaves a lot to your imagination and interpretation, which has its own charm. The movie is a slow burn romance which takes you back in time with uncertainty and hopefulness.