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Banaras Movie Review

by rameshe

Critic’s Rating : / 5

Banaras Movie Review : An emotional love saga set against time

Plot: Siddhartha(Zaid Khan) is a fun-loving, happy-go-lucky boy who accidentally meets Dhani (Sonal Monterio) and is smitten by her. To win a bet with his friends, he lies to her and befriends her. But, when the lie becomes the truth, it sets on a chain of events that would change Siddhartha’s life forever.

Review: Siddhartha, to win a bet with his friends, lies to Dhani that he is a time traveller from the future and tells her that they belong together. Innocent girl Dhani, a successful singer, who has her eyes set on winning a reality show, trusts him blindly, and agrees to go on a date with him. When she is asleep, Siddhartha clicks a picture with her and shares it with his friends. To celebrate the winning of the bet, Siddhartha and his friends flint off to a foreign location. Back in India, the leaked photo puts Dhani’s career and dreams in a jeopardy. Upon returning to India, Siddhartha gets to know about this and heads to Banaras, Dhani‘s native, to apologise and correct his mistake. But, it’s not as simple as ‘dipping in the Ganges to wash away the sins’. A twist in tale sends Sid chasing love, time, an intruder, and more, which forms the crux of the story.

Banaras is an out-and-out Jayathirtha film. In his 2011 film, Olave Mandara, Jayathirtha had explored a small-yet-touching love story set in Banaras. Here, he presents a better one on a bigger scale and canvas. The city of Banaras itself is like a second hero here. Jayathirtha has explored every nook-and-corner of Kashi and has presented it picturesquely on screen.

Zaid comes as a surprise package. He delivers a fabulous performance for a debutant. He looks the part, fights with gusto, dances and sings from his heart, and most importantly, emerges out as a very promising actor. While most actors choose a mass film for debut, Zaid has thrown a googly by choosing an experimental film, which surprisingly works in his favour. He wins big in emotional sequences. In fact, both Zaid and Sonal perform very well in emotional scenes, a challenging area for most debutants. Sonal, who plays an innocent girl, has lived up to the expectations. Sujay Shastri, who plays Shambhu, a photographer who only captures images of the dead, delivers an excellent performance during the climax. Senior actors Achyut Kumar, Devraj and Swapna Raj look the part and have played their roles to perfection. The film has very limited characters and they have all performed well.

Musician Ajaneesh Loknath and cinematographer Advait Gurumurthy deserve a special mention as their craft lifts the film by a notch. Raghu Niduvalli’s dialogues about life are very touching.

Time travel and time loop may be a little testing at times as the concept itself is very new here. The film has minor-yet-ignorable flaws and loop holes. But it still makes for an enjoyable weekend watch.

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