Good Night Good Morning has very little of bombast about it. Publicized as a simple, romantic, black and white, split-screen film about two strangers who do nothing but yak on the phone all night long, on New Year’s Eve no less, it stimulates your curiosity, if not your interest, as it makes you wonder what exactly the filmmaker was thinking?
Add to that the fact that GNGM is co-written, produced and directed by film critic, Sudhish Kamath you get ready almost reflexively to slam what is sure to be highbrow, pretentious, fare rendered almost unwatchable by the director’s superior, I-am-smarter-than-you-so-suck-it brand of filmmaking. So when the story unfolds in a bar entirely in black and white, (Whoever thinks old world charm and romance can be captured only in black and white that is hard on your retinas surely needs a brain transplant right?), you sigh in disgust.
Yet despite your prejudices, somehow you find yourself sucked into the lives of the two strangers – Turiya and Moira (played brilliantly by Manu Narayan and Seema Rahmani). The connection you forge with the protagonists is just like their phone conversation - slightly awkward, incredibly intimate and indescribably precious. In today’s world it is easier and so much cooler to be cynical where romance is concerned and yet everybody secretly longs to find someone with whom there is an instant connection, with whom you can talk endlessly even as you pray that the batteries don’t give up on you because you just don’t want the magic to stop. GNGM takes you on a zany ride with Turiya and Moira to rediscover the romantic in you and makes you feel lovely and warm inside like you just drank a giant cup of hot chocolate with little pieces of marshmallows in it.
Narayan and Rahmani play their parts to perfection proving that less is definitely more. The dialogue by Shilpa Rathnam and Sudhish Kamath laced as it is with humor and understanding is a big plus. The screenplay deserves a special mention as the scenes merge seamlessly into one another and the film is over before you know it and you realize you were so engrossed the time just flew by. Editing by Vijay Venkataramanan, M Venkatram and Murugesh Devar is noteworthy.
Kamath can take a bow for not just promising to be different but for actually being different and doing away with stereotypes with magnificent disdain. Sure he has thrown in a coy virgin but just not the type most of us are accustomed to in this part of the world. It is a brave attempt from Kamath albeit not entirely a flawless one. He has few too many moments of cinematic whimsy that can get a little trying especially as it is mere frills on a simple storyline and you are reminded all over again of highbrow critics you love to hate but he is forgiven, simply because for a brief time span he waves his wand and gives you some good, old – fashioned romance. And for that alone Good Night Good Morning is worth a watch. Or two!
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