Starring: Manu Narayan, Seema Rahmani, Vasanth Santosham, Raja Sen
Directed by Sudhish Kamath
Sudhish Kamath’s Good Night Good Morning falls into the category of International-Indian cinema. The setting is New York, the protagonists are global citizens who would have several visas stamped on bulky passports and homes in hotel rooms worldwide. Though the filmmaker is a journo with The Hindu in Chennai, his film can reach out to the young, urban, upwardly mobile, but lonely, disconnected souls living anywhere in the world, not just India.
The template of gngm may not feel all that new. It’s like Richard Linklater’s much celebrated Before Sunrise and Before Sunset. As in Linklater’s classics, the key to the romance here is in the conversations, relationships are built on and grow with the chats and banter. And like Julie Delpy in the Linklater films, GNGM’s female lead outshines the male one.
A woman (Seema Rahmani, effortessly natural) on a stopover in a NY hotel is spotted in the bar by a guy (boyish and bashful Manu Narayan), who later gives her a random call. Strikingly hot in B/W, much of the film is built around a split-screen, night-long phone conversation between the two. It’s a narration difficult to sustain, but the writing is clever, save for the middle where interest dwindles. From tentative admissions of attraction to an argument on The Matrix onto deeper discussions on “being with the self” and “the love of your life”, it’s all about how our best relationships may happen in transit, often with people we may never ever meet.