Movie Review: Wake up Sid!

Wake Up Sid lives up to every promise it makes. It is entertaining, fresh, innovative and charming. It tells the story of a young, spoilt, college kid and the series of events leading to his becoming a man. Debutante writer – director Ayan Mukerjee does a brilliant job of telling a story that can’t help but make your heart melt. With great storytelling and performances to match, the film certainly stands out in the coming of age genre of films.

Sid (Ranbir Kapoor) is a bratty young college kid whose basic aim in life, as he puts it, is to “spend his dads’ money”. Things take a turn for the worse after his final exams and he finds himself forced to grow up. After a major spoilt – brat-like tantrum, he moves out of his parent‘s home and in with Aisha (Konkona Sen Sharma), his recently acquired (albeit slightly older) friend. After a few initial speed bumps and Sid wallowing in the fact that he got the wrong end of the stick, he finally manages to gain some semblance of control over his life and finds love along the way.

Ranbir Kapoor gives a flawless performance. Convincing right from the start, he makes you feel a strange kind of warmth for the character, in spite of his flaws. He moves through a varying range of emotions quite effortlessly proving that he is much more than your run of the mill star kid. Konkona Sen Sharma brings a life like quality to the film. In her typically untarnished way, she plays the role of a caring friend, the responsible adult and unspoken lover brilliantly. The minor characters too stand out. Kashmera Shah (as the sexy neighbour), Rahul Khanna (as Aishas suave yet pretentious boss) and Sids friends (although in cut-out college friend roles) all deliver memorable performances.

Mukerjee manages to create a distinct contrast between the two lead characters. With Sid being carefree, irresponsible and aimless and Aisha being driven and focused, there emerges a palpable chemistry. His storytelling is smooth and well paced. This new director is one to watch out for.

Shankar, Ehsaan, Loy score once again with their soundtrack. Hardly surprising coming from the trio, the music is contemporary and feel good and is completely in sync with the films real life production design.

There are, of course, a few clichés. The authoritative made- a-man-of-himself-from-scratch father and the doting mother are but obvious. Screenplay is predictable and it’s easy to guess scene after scene. The climax-in-the-rain is set in the first ten minutes of the movie itself. But, the actors and director seem to redeem the film of its humdrum shades. Also, the character of Sids PYT co-worker/ friend (I can’t even remember her name) was completely unnecessary and could easily have been edited out.

The one thing I liked most about the film, however, is that it doesn’t try too hard. There are no scenes struggling to tap in on the audiences’ emotions, no dreadful songs and no drama (a welcome change from the Karan Johar brand of films). I strongly recommend that you catch this one soon. It’s fresh and young (without the ‘yo’ factor). As opposed to the tendency of most films portraying the central character as experiencing a complete metamorphosis, Wake Up Sid keeps it real. It’s the story of someone you know, who ends up a little older and definitely a little wiser.

Aakanksha Pagnis

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