Wake Up Sid, 2009
Directed by: Ayan Mukerji
Produced by: Karan Johar
Starring: Ranbir Kapoor, Konkona Sen Sharma, Anupam Kher, Supriya Pathak, Rahul Khanna, Kashmira Shah
It's Kinda Like: Overboard meets Maid to Order, without the amnesia?
This week's Bollywood movie is a great complement to last week's Rocket Singh: Salesman of the Year. Both movies came out the same year, and both star Ranbir Kapoor. And between the two, he shows off his versatility, playing two opposite characters in the two films. (Both of which films, by the way, were delightful.)
Both films begin with the same circumstances: school is almost out, and the college students are graduating. And, both Kapoor's characters -- Harpreet Singh Bedi in Rocket Singh and Siddharth "Sid" Mehra in Wake Up Sid -- haven't been doing so well in school. But there the similarity ends. HP Bedi is earnest, ambitious, and hardworking, just not great at school. You can see what happens to him in his movie. Sid, on the other hand, is the spoiled partyboy son of uber-rich parents, barely scraping by in school because he can't be bothered to put in any work. He loves his carefree existence -- until graduation, when his slacker friends have somehow managed to squeeze out passing grades, leaving him alone at the bottom. He is, of course, super angry at them for this. To top it off, his dad wants him to start right away working in the office at the family business.
At their graduation party, Sid meets Aisha (Konkona Sen Sharma, who I'm pleased to see keeps getting cast in better and better films). Aisha has moved to Mumbai all on her own that very afternoon, leaving everyone she knows, in search of a dream job. She's a little older than Sid and anxious that he not get "the wrong idea," since they're hitting it off so awfully well. He shows her the city and they exchange numbers; she's thankful to find ONE friend in Mumbai, at least.
And of course Sid's time in the office doesn't go so well, despite the fancy SUV he's promised if he comes to work for a whole two weeks. After a falling-out, he leaves home and with nowhere else to go, crashes at Aisha's place. Hilarity ensues, mostly based on Sid's total inability to take care of himself. (See? Like Overboard meets Maid to Order!)
While Rocket Singh is a quirky, understated movie that feels like an indie, Wake Up Sid feels more like an 80s film: it's more exuberant, and slightly goofy. Kapoor is equally likeable in both roles, and in Wake Up Sid he's charmingly petulant. And the costume design is equally delightful, with him cycling through a neverending (and enviable) wardrobe of superhero, comic book, and Star Wars t-shirts (which of course are chosen for the scenes, well done designers). (I believe he also has Spongebob sheets.) The music, too, is really catchy -- heavily acoustic guitar based, for a true-feeling modern college graduate feel. (Similar to the music from 3 Idiots.)
Here's a song from early in the film -- see his adorable carefree ways? And this song is *ridiculously* catchy. ("Kya Karoon" loosely translates to "What should I do?," or "What do I do?")
Just like in Overboard and Maid to Order (I LOVE those movies!), Sid's transformation/coming-of-age is immensely satisfying to watch, while not being overly unrealistic. And the film's question is how to become the *right amount* of grown up; it's possible to go too far -- or at least far enough to become just no fun at all.
Verdict: I kind of loved this movie. Watch it, and go through your own end-of-school, beginning-of-summer transformation. Enjoy, and happy summer!