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Movie Review: Notebook – An Old School Romantic Tale

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The official remake of the 2014 Thai film Teacher’s Diary, Notebook is all about Kabir Kaul (Zaheer Iqbal) and his love for Firdous (Pranutan Bahl), a girl who he is never met or seen.

While Kabir is a displaced Kashmiri Pandit who returns to his roots and decides to join his dad’s school as a teacher, Firdous is a girl who was previously teaching in the same school. With no professional training in teaching, Kabir finds it hard to deal with the kids, but then one fine day happens to get his hand on to Firdous’s diary.

As Kabir starts to read the diary, he starts to fall hopelessly in love with Firdaus, who has left the school as she wanted to get married to her boyfriend.

In all of this, we are forced to witness the socio-political issues of the Kashmir Valley, something that I feel was totally uncalled for. Although Notebook it is based in a time period of the last decade, it is not exactly a period film and talks about some of the relatable issues of Kashmir, and also of the matters of the heart.

Nitin Kakkar who had helmed Filmistaan (2014) with such aplomb, is just all over the place with this one. The film moves at the snail’s pace and to make matters worse there is no drama that will compel you to sit through the entire film. By the time the film picks up pace, the end credits roll.

The two new faces, Zaheer Iqbal and Pranutan Bahl, do not disappoint and I am sure if given a better script both can do better than this.

Off late Salman Khan and his production house, Salman Khan Films has belted out films like Tubelight (2017), Race 3 (2018), Loveyatri (2018), none of them has managed to create a stir at the Box Office. Also with the recent Notebook, I do not much hope.

All said and done, the film belongs to cinematographer, Manoj Kumar Khatoi, who has captured the remote Kashmir locales beautifully and the kids; Imran (Mir Mohammed Mehroos), Shama (Soliha Maqbool), Tariq (Mir Mohammed Zayan), Waqar (Baba Hatim), Dua (Adiba Bhat) and Iqrah (Hafsa Ashraf Katoo).

Watch Notebook for these brilliantly talented kids as I am sure they will linger in your mind for a while.

Rating: Two Stars

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