October (2018 film)
First-look and theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Shoojit Sircar|
|Written by||Juhi Chaturvedi|
|Music by||Shantanu Moitra|
|Edited by||Chandrashekhar Prajapati|
|Box office||est. ₹57.4 crore|
October is a 2018 Indian Hindi-language slice of life romantic drama film directed by Shoojit Sircar, and produced by Ronnie Lahiri and Sheel Kumar under their Rising Sun Films banner. It stars Varun Dhawan, Banita Sandhu, and Gitanjali Rao. Both Sandhu and Rao debuted as actors with this film. Written by Juhi Chaturvedi and shot by Avik Mukhopadhyay, the film depicts the life of a hotel-management intern who takes care of his comatose fellow intern unconditionally and unconventionally.
Initially scheduled to release on 1 June 2018, the film was released on 13 April 2018, grossing over ₹54.74 crore worldwide. Upon its release, the filmmakers were accused of plagiarising Aarti - The Unknown Love Story, a Marathi film directed by Sarika Mene. Screenwriters Association reviewed the case and found some similarities between the two films. However, it cleared October of plagiarism charges as the real-life events that likely inspired both the films were not protected by copyright laws.
Danish "Dan" Walia (Varun Dhawan) is a hotel management trainee working for an internship course in a hotel in Delhi. Dan is a man of careless attitude who does not like his job due to the low-class errands and has strained relations with most of his co-workers and seniors, contrasting with his co-worker Shiuli (Banita Sandhu) who is calmer and good at her job. On New Year's Eve Shiuli and the other hotel interns party at the top of the terrace, but Dan is nowhere to be seen. Shiuli falls from third floor of the hotel and gets injured.
Critically injured, Shiuli is admitted to the hospital, and goes into a comatose state. When Dan learns about Shiuli's accident, he visits her in the hospital. Empathizing with her condition he begins visiting her regularly and develops an emotional attachment towards her when he comes to know that her last three words before her fall were just about him. Due to his frequent visits to the hospital, his internship at the hotel suffers and he is fired. As months pass by, Shiuli slowly starts to recover. Dan gets another job at a different hotel in Kullu where he becomes a manager; however, unable to take Shiuli out of his mind, he returns to her. When Shiuli is discharged and taken home, Dan continues taking care of her.
One night, Shiuli has a seizure; her lungs collapse and she dies. Deeply grief-stricken, Dan takes the tree with himself under which Shiuli used to play as a child as her last memory as her family moves to Trichi.
- Banita Sandhu – Shiuli Iyer, Dan's subordinate trainee, named after the flower Shiuli, because of her fondness for it, by her mother.
- Gitanjali Rao – Prof. Vidya Iyer, Shiuli's mother
- Sahil Vedoliyaa – Manjeet, Dan's roommate
- Ashish Ghosh – Dr. Ghosh
The idea behind the film is conceived and inspired from newspaper articles and reports about comatose and brain injuries that whether a coma patient listens when we talk to them and the spiritual exercise which brings them back.
Principal photography began in September 2017, and concluded in November 2017. The film is completely shot in Delhi at Dwarka with a few portions shot at Connaught Place, New Delhi and Defence Colony, South Delhi. In Delhi, it was also shot in a five-star hotel for 30 days where Varun Dhawan practiced as a hotel management student, performing his daily chores and the idea behind which was for Varun to grasp body-language and behaviour to bring more realism to his character in the film.
Marketing and release
Varun Dhawan and Rising Sun Films first teased October in a 10-second clip released on 23 January 2018 to their official Twitter and YouTube handles, respectively. After which on 14 February 2018 first-look teaser trailer of the film was released. It was followed by the release of first-look (also theatrical release) poster and official trailer on 9 March 2018 and 12 March 2018. In an interview, Shoojit Sircar said that writers do not get much credit like they do in the West. He said, “It is important to acknowledge all the technicians in the film, especially the one who conceives it, the writers.” He feels that a writer's contribution is as important as any actor's or director's. This was the reason which made him “deliberately” give Juhi Chaturvedi's credit in the trailer and “made sure the industry notices”. He further added that the Hindi film industry doesn't think writing to be important. For them, it's more “the actor, then the director, how you shoot the film and how expensive.”
Initially, the film was scheduled to release on 1 June 2018. But in October 2017, Dhawan, in one of his tweets, revealed that the release date has been preponed. The film was released on 13 April 2018 across 2308 screens worldwide.
Background score of the film is composed by Shantanu Moitra who also provided music for three tracks on the film's soundtrack album. The soundtrack is composed by Shantanu Moitra, Abhishek Arora and Anupam Roy, and features playback singers such as Armaan Malik, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Sunidhi Chauhan and Monali Thakur. Background score of the film is composed by Shantanu Moitra who also provided music for three tracks on the film's soundtrack album. It was released on 28 March 2018 by Zee Music Company and generally received positive response from the critics. The album consists of five tracks whose lyrics are penned by Abhiruchi Chand, Tanveer Ghazi and Swanand Kirkire.
Lyrics for first track are written by Abhiruchi Chand, second and third by Tanveer Ghazi and fourth by Swanand Kirkire.
- Theher Ja – Armaan Malik
- October (Theme Music) – Shantanu Moitra
- Tab Bhi Tu – Rahat Fateh Ali Khan
- Manwaa – Sunidhi Chauhan
- Chal – Monali Thakur
As of 10 May 2018, October has grossed over ₹49.92 crore (US$6.9 million) in India, and as of 6 May 2018, ₹3.45 crore (US$480,000) in North America (USA and Canada), ₹0.71 crore (US$99,000) in United Kingdom, ₹0.32 crore (US$45,000) in Australia and ₹0.11 crore (US$15,000) in New Zealand making a worldwide total of ₹54.51 crore (US$7.6 million), which is more than twice the production budget of the film. It had a domestic opening of ₹4.25 crore (US$590,000), which grew to ₹6.25 crore (US$870,000) and ₹7.25 crore (US$1.0 million) on the second and third days. The collection decreased to ₹1.25 crore (US$170,000) by the eighth day with spikes of ₹2.25 crore (US$310,000) and ₹2.75 crore (US$380,000) on the ninth and tenth days. By the fifteenth day, the collection was ₹0.36 crore (US$50,000), The film grossed ₹0.63 crore (US$88,000) and ₹0.72 crore (US$100,000) on the sixteenth and seventeenth days, then dropped to ₹0.01 crore (US$1,400) by the 42nd day of its domestic run.
Saibal Chatterjee of NDTV gave the movie 4 out of 5 stars, calling it an exquisite drama. Rajeev Masand of News18 said that, "October is a thoughtful, meditative film about love, grief, mortality, and the making of a man". He praised the performances of the lead actors and gave the film a rating of 3.5 out of 5. Rohit Vats of Hindustan Times gave the film a rating of 4.5 out of 5 and appreciated the performances of all actors specially Varun Dhawan about whom he said that, "It’s a terrific performance, his best for sure". The critic said that, "October, a month in autumn, is more than just a symbol in Shoojit Sircar’s new film. It covers a lifetime. It brings haunting images, evokes tears, makes you anxious and then leaves you blank. You’re numb while waiting to return to reality." Shubhra Gupta of The Indian Express gave the film a rating of 2.5 out of 5 and said that, "I liked much of October, but didn’t fall in love with it." but she did praise the performances of all actors and the writer of the movie, Juhi Chaturvedi. Madhureeta Mukherjee of The Times of India gave the film a rating of 4.5 out of 5 and said that, "It’s not a story crafted with heavy doses of dialogues, romantic ballads or bombastic tropes common to the genre. The beauty lies in the simplicity of it all.".
Awards and nominations
|Date||Awards||Category||Recipient(s) and nominee(s)||Result||Refs.|
|30 June 2018||NBT Utsav Award||Best Actor||Varun Dhawan||Won|||
|10 August 2018||Indian Film Festival of Melbourne||Nominated|||
|Best Director||Shoojit Sircar||Nominated|
Sarika Mene, a Marathi filmmaker, had claimed that October plagiarised plot and characters from her 2017 film Aarti: The Unknown Love Story. She had filed a non-cognisable criminal complaint against makers of October at Vile Parle Police Station, Mumbai. Hemal Trivedi, also a Marathi filmmaker, who was working with Mene on the bollywood-remake of Aarti, supported her claim via his facebook post. However, the team of Rising Sun Films had denied the allegations saying “ … We have not heard of the film ‘Aarti’ nor do we have full details of the matter as yet. ... We will look into this and deal with it appropriately.”
In an interview that occurred before the plagiarism accusation, Shoojit Sircar said that all the films that he had directed had been very personal to him and October explores experiences of the hospital life he had lived when his mother was comatose for three months. Moreover, the film's writer Juhi Chaturvedi also took care of her mother in hospital for years before she was finally put on ventilator but couldn't be revived. Though Aarti is an amateur project but thematic similarities between both the films can't be ignored.
Despite Sircar's given statements in news interviews on the inspiration behind October, Mene said she won't give up easily and hired a new lawyer for the case because she had requested the makers of October to watch Aarti, to which they didn't respond but to no effect because ScreenWriters Association (SWA) cleared October of all the charges in a letter, dated 20 May 2018, written to Rising Sun Films and Juhi Chaturvedi from Dispute Settlement Committee set up by SWA on 5 May 2018 on the basis of facts that though “... both the films may overlap, the treatment ... is very different ... ” and “ ... most of the details already existed ... in public domain through news articles and reports about Sunny and Aarti's story.”
Even after being cleared from all the accusations, on 9 June 2018, Juhi received another legal notice from Mene claiming again that the story of October was plagiarised from Aarti. The notice demands Sunny Pawar to be credited and monetary compensation for her not being unable to make Hindi adaptation of Aarti, whose rights she had sold to Hemal Trivedi to work on it.
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Released: 28 Mar 2018 ℗ 2018 Zee Music Company
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