Notebook Movie Review : You can appreciate the humour, romance, and scenic views. But you still be wanting more by the end of it
Last Modified On: 29 March 2019 | Reviewed By: Team Moviekoop
'Notebook' is an easy watch where you can appreciate the humour, romance and scenic views. But the film leaves you wanting for more. Perhaps with more creativity in writing, this young romantic saga could have achieved more.
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Hoping for a change, a former army officer takes a job as a teacher at a remote school in Kashmir. When he discovers a notebook from the previous instructor, he soon finds himself falling in love with a woman he has never met.
An adaptation of the Thai drama 'The Teacher’s Diary' (2014), Notebook makes good use of the talents of its newcomers Zaheer Iqbal and Pranutan Bahl. The freshness of the lead pair and the exotic Kashmiri setting add visual appeal to the movie. The unusual story of falling in love with someone you’ve never met holds intrigue for most part of the run time, too. But the movie takes a little too much time to set things up. The young couple don’t meet until the climactic portions of the film and once the high-drama kicks in it feels too little, too late. The writing by Darab Farooqi, Payal Ashar and Sharib Hashmi manages to sneak in social themes around the Kashmiri youth, and that's a definite positive. But, neither the screenplay nor the dialogues are able to heighten the drama to requisite levels.
The most memorable takeaway about Kashmir, however, is visual. The movie is bursting with some of the most eye-watering views of the Valley captured on film yet. Cinematographer Manoj Kumar Khatoi finds memorable frames in every location, be it the gentle lake on which the isolated school floats or the snow-capped mountains that loom in the distance.
Nitin Kakkar, who has written the dialogue for Darab Farooqui’s adapted screenplay along with Payal Ashar, liberally uses long shots to overcome the inability of his debutant lead pair to carry off a romance that plays out in two distinctive time zones. It doesn’t pay to mourn the wooden performances of the leads when there is always a lovely view of the Valley available or ridiculously cute children running around. Location is everything, the dictum goes, and it applies firmly to Notebook, injecting a suggestion of sublimity into a stilted romance with simplistic politics.
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