June Movie Review Rating: 2.5/5 Stars (Two and a half stars)
Star Cast: Nehha Pendse Bayas, Siddharth Menon, Sanskruti Balgude, Kiran Karmarkar, Resham Shrivardhan, Nilesh Diwekar, Jitendra Joshi (cameo),
Director: Suhrud Godbole and Vaibhav Khisti
What’s Good: Nehha Pendse & Siddharth Menon’s simple portrayal of complex emotions
What’s Bad: Lacks a proper buildup to connect with the characters
Loo Break: It’s just 90 minutes; watch it at a stretch if you’re in
Watch or Not?: If you can watch a film for what it narrates rather than how it does that, then go ahead!
It starts with Pune’s Neha (Nehha Pendse Bayas) moving into his husband’s childhood house in Aurangabad without him. Bothered with her bold presence in the colony, some residents oppose her way of living. But there’s Neel (Siddharth Menon) who relates to her perplexities which are eccentric for others. Neel is a failed engineer burdened with a dark secret he’s been carrying for a long time.
Though being committed in their lives with other people, Neha & Neel bond over the dreary happenings in their lives. They share their dark secrets with each other in the hope of finding a solution. But, what happens next? Will they fall for each other, healing themselves, or realise that all of this isn’t forever? This is what June is all about.
June Movie Review: Script Analysis
Nikhil Mahajan’s story says a lot taking just 90 minutes for your time. Now, that might not be totally a good thing because certain things need time to build a connection. This gets emotional even before the film begins as the makers thank the legendary director Nishi sir (Nishikant Kamat), reminding us of how we won’t be able to aboard a ‘Dombivali Fast’ even after the lockdown ends. It’s dark. Yes, that’s the best adjective I could get to describe Mahajan’s story, dark. It’s so dark that one extreme scene involves the lead actor doing something strange to his pen*s.
But, is all this darkness worth it? That’s a different debate because to lead your viewers to that darkness, you need them to see the characters’ brightly lit life before it, but that doesn’t happen here. You’re thrown straight into the already gloomy lives of Neel & Neha. Revolving around the difficult-to-explain concept of ‘letting go’, the script tackles multiple sub-plots – one between the leads, and they both have their backstories that involve other people. It’s not cinematically possible to tackle all of them in just 90 minutes.
Nikhil Mahajan & Hrishikesh Petwe’s editing is for sure fast-paced, but as explained above, it takes from the emotional depth. Quais Waseeq’s camerawork, for most of the time, follows the basic route, but he goes out of his way to include some neatly placed low angle & drone shots.
June Movie Review: Star Performance
Nehha Pendse Bayas is pure magic in this, a dark one, though. From instilling the confidence in her character to be independent to tackling the ghosts from her past, she nails every possible aspect. She goes to 🥺 from 😑 instantly for a scene, and that showcases her affluent range.
Siddharth Menon plays Neel at the risk of looking like Kabir Singh/Arjun Reddy, but he brings a set of raw emotions. He plays Neel’s complexities with the proper conviction required for such a role. Gifted with most of the meat, Siddharth leaves no chance to make a mark for himself.
Post her stint in Breathe Into The Shadows & Ek Thi Begum, this is Resham Shrivardhan’s debut Marathi film, and she’s just about fine. It’s partially also because of the weak writing around her character Nicky. Sanskruti Balgude is just there for a couple of scenes and adds nothing noteworthy.
Kiran Karmarkar, as Neel’s dad, is another victim of average character-sketch as he could’ve added a whole lot of depth to the existing turmoil. Nilesh Diwekar as the colony’s stereotyped president is wasted. Jitendra Joshi’s cameo towards the end adds nothing out-of-the-box to the script, but it’s always a joy to watch him act.
June Movie Review: Direction, Music
Suhrud Godbole, Vaibhav Khisti’s direction is ordinary, to sum up in a word. Totally relying on Mahajan’s script, the direction doesn’t add anything to intrigue you apart from its dialogue-heavy nature, which is because of its writing. That’s where an ‘I’m Thinking Of Ending Things’ stands out, relying on both brilliant writing and outstanding direction. Mahajan’s story has uncertainty and vulnerability, but it misses to push the bar of absurdity. A top-of-my-head example is Neel’s friendship with his friend in the hostel is never developed correctly, but it gets a dark twist which is wasted because you just cannot connect with it.
Shalmali Kholgade’s music beautifully gels with the aura of June. But it’s missing a couple of good tracks which would’ve made a greater impact. ‘Baba’ remains to be the best track, but its timing takes away its bleak charm.
June Movie Review: The Last Word
All said and done; it’s a complex story of two complicated strangers-turned-more-than-friends finding out a simple way to live their lives. Backed with two absorbing performances, a beautiful message, it still feels incomplete because of the rushed script.
Two and a half stars!
June releases on 30 June 2021.
Share with us your experience of watching June.