Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Sanya Malhotra, Farrukh Jaffar, Ramesh Deo
From Ritesh Batra, director of 2013’s acclaimed The Lunchbox, comes this affecting, bittersweet coming-of-age romance, beautifully photographed on the streets of Mumbai.
Struggling street photographer Rafi (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) works day and night to pay off an old family debt. His grandmother (Farrukh Jaffar) is pressuring him to get married, so to keep her quiet he shows her a picture of his supposed fiancé, Miloni (Sanya Malhotra). When his grandmother demands to meet her, he tracks Miloni – a younger woman who lives comfortably with her parents while studying to become an accountant – down, and convinces her to fake their relationship. Despite the differences in their culture, status and economic background, Rafi and Miloni form a unique bond.
The story relies on familiar elements, but Batra successfully extracts new emotion and resonance from it, shading in the lives of both his lead characters with compellingly specific details that build up a sense of their separate worlds. Carefully crafted and eloquent on the often painful social and romantic barriers of colour, caste and class in India, Photograph explores the desire for human connection across such boundaries, shot against the city they share; the glowing, extraordinary Mumbai.