Photograph Review: Ritesh Batra Continues His Romance with Melancholy and Mumbai

Bollywood

Photograph Review: Ritesh Batra Continues His Romance with Melancholy and Mumbai

Illustration: Arati Gujar

M

umbai is a city that thrives as much on its performance of cultural diversity as it does on its enforcement of a pronounced class divide. Perennially stuck between tradition and progressiveness, it’s possibly the only Indian city that compels its inhabitants to be acutely aware of how much distance they must keep between themselves and others, just to survive. Like the lonely widower who was too guarded to let a young woman reaching out to him know just how much her letters – and her lunchbox – meant to him.

It’s this inherent characteristic of Mumbai that Ritesh Batra exploits in Photograph, a rich coming-of-age tale dressed in the oldest romantic narrative in Hindi cinema: Is the connection between two strangers a product of class segregation or a victim of it?

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