The film set in apparently a desolate border village of Kashmir deftly avoids all controversial or ‘sensitive’ issues focusing mainly on education and romance.
The setting of the film is absolutely romantic-dreamy, desolate, a little sad but strongly tinged with hope.
In today’s noisy and more-of-a-flaunting world of romance, Notebook definitely brings in a whiff of soft, tender and dreamy love.
The children in the film add to the cuteness quotient. The story is simple- a lonely young man leaves the army and becomes a school teacher. He is posted in a secluded village of the border area. In this small school in the middle of nowhere and on the banks of a lake, he finds a notebook of the previous teacher.
The romantic surroundings are perked up by some funny moments which make this simple story interesting. Sonu Nigam’s ‘achchha sila diya tune mere pyar ka…’ at the background is a brilliant use of the yesteryear’s song of a popular though B-grade film.
It is in fact the kind of a story you would like to read but the director Nitin Kakkar should be lauded for making it a visual feat. Some top angle shots of the school in the lake add to the lyrical quality of the story. If you have watched Onir’s Kuch Bheege Alfaaz and liked it, you will definitely like Notebook.
Pranutan looks good in an offbeat manner. She is shown without much glamour and fits in the role. Zaheer Iqbal too is impressive, though he has a weak voice and at times he looks rather too camera conscious.
Music is alright. Bhumro… and Mai safar me hun mai khoya nahi...are melodious and have a haunting quality.
But one thing which couldn't be understood and kept nagging at me in this otherwise a feel-good romantic film-- why were the contents of the very significant notebook in the film written in Roman when in fact it was Hindi? Was the director trying to say that Kashmiris don’t know Hindi? Or is it too old fashioned (for the director of course) to write in Devanagari?