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Ritesh Batra’s Photograph is a gentle romance set in the
director’s native Mumbai, where his 2013 breakout hit The
Lunchbox was also shot. Like Mumbai today, the story’s couple
find themselves at the crossroads of tradition and modernity
Rafi (Bollywood icon Nawazuddin Siddiqui) works as a street
photographer in Mumbai. Pressured by his grandmother Dadi
(Farrukh Jaffar) to marry, Rafi sends her a photo of a stranger,
claiming that the girl, Miloni (rising Bollywood star Sanya
Malhotra), is his fiancée. When Dadi insists on a meeting, Rafi
tracks down Miloni and asks her to pretend to be his betrothed.
Rafi and Miloni are divided by radically different backgrounds.
He’s from a Muslim village; she’s a city girl. He’s working
class, she’s middle class. He shares one room with friends; she
lives with her parents and a maid. He’s single; she awaits an
arranged marriage. Yet the pair develop a surprising connection
that challenges their worldviews in a wistful, funny way.
The film is beautifully shot, serving as a love poem to Mumbai.
Rafi works at the sea-side Gateway of India, a favorite spot
for both tourists and locals. Meanwhile, cabs bustle down the
streets and vendors hawk everything from ice candy to chai.
With this film, writer/director Ritesh Batra returns to his
roots after directing two English-language features (Our
Souls at Night with Robert Redford and Jane Fonda, and The
Sense of an Ending with Jim Broadbent and Charlotte Rampling.
The film is in Hindi, Gujarati and some English with English subtitles.
Photograph is being released in Canada by Mongrel Media.