It’s been 13 years since we saw Wake Up Sid’s Sid living and growing up in Mumbai with Aisha. From then till now the gunj of this Iktara has only got stronger!
Growing up or coming of age is a genre that has been explored in many ways, from Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikander to Kuch Kuch Hota Hai to Dil Chahta Hai. With every generation, a change can be seen in storytelling, and for Millennials it was Ayan Mukherji’s Wake Up Sid! Now this generation was lost as a whole because it wanted to create a path of its own but didn’t quite know how to. There we had Sid who was not so good at studies and didn’t want to join his father’s business or do a 9 to 5 job. Instead, he loved his camera, hanging out with friends, partying, and had no idea what he wanted to do with his future. And then he met Aisha, a dreamy-eyed girl from Kolkata wanting to make something of herself in the city of dreams – Mumbai. Her passion, poetry, simplicity, practicality, and dedication transcended into Sid and transformed him as well.
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Yes, it’s very true that Wake Up Sid takes up the same gissa-pitta route of a woman coming into a lost hero’s life to transform him in some way but with a completely different and unique approach. Aisha isn’t merely a catalyst in Sid’s life but he’s also one in hers. She’s an independent woman with a very strong mind of her own who learns to love herself somewhere because she starts to see herself through Sid‘s eyes and as a wheatish woman myself this makes me feel seen. Not to mention that we fall in love with Mumbai as a city because we see it through Aisha‘s eyes, a middle-class girl who makes a small dirty apartment look beautiful with Sid’s help. In fact, this approach of Aisha’s makes even Sid open up to new experiences in already familiar spaces. It offers him a new perspective to look at his own city in which he has been living forever as well as his life making him fall in love with photography irrespective of the camera being with him his entire life.
But the film is more than a love story or a hero’s journey from being immature to mature. It’s also about finding yourself out in the chaos while taking a completely unknown and different path. Who didn’t want to either work inside an uber cool magazine called Mumbai Beat or start something like that? It was a representation of all writers, photographers, and artists in the most unique way possible. It also broke certain stereotypes like do cup chai, bread-jam, a terrace, a night under stars, and good company can also be a party or just because someone is an artist of any sort doesn’t necessarily mean they enjoy Jazz music. And most importantly living by yourself can teach you a lot about life like learning how to make an omelet, taking care of things yourself, and of course, sharing increases your happiness.
It’s also about making new friends while maintaining a relationship with the old ones, realizing your privilege, and still not stopping that from exploring life itself. It’s about that ever-changing bond with parents and about everything that this age, this phase brings with it whether you’re stepping into a new city or someone who has been always been living there. This time when you’re fresh out of college and haven’t settled in yet, what you want to do often feels lonely because you’re undergoing such a big change, it’s when you leave stuff behind to make space for new experiences. And having a saathi like Aisha in Wake Up Sid is like having that do cup chai with some who’s similar to you and also makes for amazing company!
Maybe this is why Wake Up Sid is still the most comfortable relatable watch even after 13 years. It inspires you in the most poetic way!
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