Notebook movie review: A beautifully sublime love story

Notebook movie poster
Notebook movie poster

NOTEBOOK movie review is here. Released today, NOTEBOOK is produced by Salman Khan and it introduces Zaheer Iqbal and Pranutan Bahl to Bollywood. Directed by national award winner Nitin Kakkar (FILMSTAN), NOTEBOOK is the Indian adaptation of the 2014 picturesquely poetic Thai romance drama TEACHER'S DIARY (Khit Thueng Witthaya) by Khit Thueng Witthaya. The movie is in news as Salman Khan is presenting a love story and launching two fresh faces. Is the love able to blossom? find out in NOTEBOOK movie review.

Immediate reaction when the end credits of NOTEBOOK roll
NOTEBOOK is a love story that is made for those who believe in the divine power of love, a love story that challenges the typical romantic comedy motif of boy meets girl, fall in love only to break up and get back together at the end. NOTEBOOK is an experience that is refreshingly poetic, charmingly heartwarming, intriguingly soul stirring and everlasting that attempts to look beyond the naked eye.

The Story of NOTEBOOK
Ex army man Kabir (Zaheer Iqbal) gets the job of a teacher in a remote school floating on a lake in Kashmir. Previous teacher, Firdaus (Pranutan Bahl) has left a diary in the school which helps Kabir by offering guidance, motivation which slowly turns into compassion. Kabir starts falling in love with Firdaus who he has not seen only felt through the ‘Notebook’.

Analysis
Darab Farooqui’s adapted screenplay along with Sharib Hashmi and Payal Ashar’s meaningful dialogues are exquisitely simple. As said earlier and like the original, the movie instigates the thinking and sensible viewer to see beyond the exotic beauty (Kashmir over here). It does make a statement without claiming to do. The idea to isolate something essential about human nature and at the same time to comprehend the scope of human experience is balanced well over here. A smart comment on the boy meets girl template of romance that is able to draw attention towards the problems of the heaven on earth – Kashmir is commendable indeed. Kabir – a Kashmiri Pandit filled with resentment due to the horrifying atrocities by fundamentalist at one hand and the zest for Firdaus to earn freedom and be on her own is nicely twined with heartfelt moments that float with hope, offering bliss from the suffering. The tattoo sequence, the Imran episode etc.

Nitin Kakkar’s direction in NOTEBOOK
Nitin Kakkar ‘s narration is calm and smooth as the lake - meditative and beautiful. Nitin Kakkar’s treatment to the subject is naturally nurtured. Themes of love, humanity, nature, teacher, disciple, teachings, good teaching, bad teaching are handled with enormous beauty and warmth. The craftsmanship is brilliant as within the everlasting images, those darker passages get sealed and sufferings are offered a healing. Nitin Kakkar is a rare breed of filmmaker, someone who is in total control of his material, its rhythms and its tone. Be it the brilliantly unique Filmistaan, the sweet little gem MITRON. Nitin Kakkar is an artiste/filmmaker who sees things whole and remarkably leaves an impression in his work which is profound.

Zaheer Iqbal debut in NOTEBOOK
Zaheer Iqbal is a picture of confidence. Nice combo – hard face, soft emotions. Zaheer Iqbal is fit to play a long inning in Bollywood.

Pranutan Bahl debut in NOTEBOOK
Call it a sweet unexpected coincidence. Last weekend while surfing channels I stopped by haunting glimpse of Nutan in DILLI KA THUG, co –starring the genius called Kishore Kumar and I started wondering, how will her granddaughter Pranutan Bahl will be able to make her mark. Pranutan Bahl doesn't disappoint at all and makes a charming debut. She is natural and competent. We can expect more of Pranutan for sure in future.

Other performances
The kids are a delight. Mir Mohammed Mehroos (Imran), Soliha Maqbool (Shama) Mir Mohammed Zayan (Tariq), Baba Hatim (Waqar), Adiba Bhat (Dua) and Hafsa Ashraf Katoo (Iqrah) all are cute and adorable. Mir Sarwar, Zahoor Zaidi and Mozim Bhat as Junaid chip in with good support.

Music
Vishal Mishra’s music is soulful. 'Nai Lagda', 'Bumro' are the pick of the lot.

Technicalities
Manoj Kumar Khatoi is destined to win top honors in cinematography for NOTEBOOK, stunning, eye popping, everlasting, postcards, paintings in motion. Urvi Ashar Kakkar and Shipra Rawal’s production design is fantastic. Sanam Ratansi’s costumes are authentic. Shachindra Vats’s editing is as per the vision of the director.

Flaws
Some incidents are out of place and are examples of sheer manipulation to reach to the next important point. The ‘marriage’ episode of Firdaus, Kabir’s meeting with his ex, does not match the core idea at all. It’s not for those who believe in the routine stories of love.

Final words
NOTEBOOK is not just a kiss to your heart, or a balm for the soul, it’s the divine belief of togetherness and a reminder that even in the frenetic surroundings, the cosmos has its own steady pendulum about love, compassion and togetherness.

Rating 4/5

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Movie Cast & Crew
  • Director: Nitin Kakkar
  • Actor: Zaheer Iqbal
  • Actress: Pranutan Bahl
  • Production house: Salman Khan Films, Cine1 Studios
  • Release Date : 29 Mar 2019
  • Movie Duration : 1 hr 42 mins