Cast: Manu Narayan, Seema Rahmani, Vasanth Santosham, Raja Sen.
What’s Good: The interesting concept; the witty dialogues; the performances.
What’s Bad: The fact that the film is in black and white and that it is only a conversation between two people will put off many lay viewers; the last few minutes of the narrative don’t hold water.
Verdict: Good Night | Good Morning makes for good experimental cinema but it won’t be able to do anything at the Indian box-office.
Loo break: None.
Watch or Not?: Watch it because it is a good attempt by an independent Indian filmmaker.
Made In Madras Inc.’s Good Night | Good Morning is about a long telephone conversation between two strangers, who meet at a New Year’s Eve party in New York.
A slightly drunk Turiya (Manu Narayan), who is driving after attending a new year’s eve party, from New York to Philadelphia, with his three inebriated friends, calls up a girl (Seema Rahmani) in the middle of the night. He had met the girl briefly at the party at a hotel where the girl was staying.
A long and interesting conversation ensues between the duo and they start learning about each other’s passions and regrets, until something that Turiya says miffs the girl. She disconnects, but calls back again after some time. Now, both shift from talking dirty to talking about existential things like life and love. As the clock ticks towards 6 a.m., the time when the girl has to leave to catch her flight for India, Turiya and Moira (the girl reveals her name towards the end) seem to have formed a strong bond like no other, after having shared a ‘wild’ night of conversation.
Good Night | Good Morning Review: Script Analysis
The story of Good Night | Good Morning, by Sudhish Kamath, might be similar to that of the Hollywood film, Before Sunrise, but Kamath has done an excellent job of creating interesting characters and conversation, and maintaining the interest of the audience, in spite of the fact that the narrative barely moves out of the confines of a hotel room and a car. The screenplay, by Sudhish Kamath and Shilpa Rathnam, is fast paced. The dialogues are quick and witty. However, the fact remains that the film is uni-dimensional and will, therefore, appeal to a thin minority of the audience only. The black and white format of the film, as well as the fact that the film is, after all, just a long conversation between two people, is bound to be too different a deal for a majority of lay Indian audiences to handle, provided they venture to watch the film in a cinema in the first place.
But it must be added that Kamath, who is also the director of the film, manages to do a fair job of engaging the audience for a major part of the drama, through his innovative storytelling techniques (for example, the film uses a split screen almost throughout).
Good Night | Good Morning Review: Star Performances
Manu Narayan and Seema Rahmani stand their own. Vasanth Santosham, Raja Sen and Abhishek D. Shah, as Turiya’s three friends in the car, add the fun element.
Good Night | Good Morning Review: Direction & Technical Aspects
Sudhish Kamath’s direction is fine as he is able to hold the story together for the most part. However, he loses his grip on the narrative in the last 15 minutes or so. Given the shoestring budget of the film, it is technically very good. Nischalakrishna Vittalanathan’s cinematography is appropriate. Editing, by Venkatram M., is sharp.
Good Night | Good Morning Review: The Last Word
On the whole, Good Night | Good Morning is a good experimental film, but its box-office prospects are rather gloomy.