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Notebook Review

Notebook
Ravi Mundoli / fullhyd.com
EDITOR RATING
3.0
Performances
Script
Music/Soundtrack
Visuals
NA
NA
NA
NA
Suggestions
Can watch again
NA
Good for kids
NA
Good for dates
NA
Wait to rent it
NA
There is a Sutti Velu joke in a movie from the '80s, in which his character works in the film industry. When asked what his role is, he says he is the "Ka-scree-he-ma-pa-da" for the film. When asked to elaborate, he says, "Katha, neney. Screenplay, neney. Hero, neney. Maatalu, neney. Paatalu, neney. Darsakathvamu, neney." Going by that algorithm, Chandu is the "Ka-scree-ma-da" of Notebook.

Notebook seems to be a variation on the young love doomed theme that was somewhat tangentially a part of Chandu's own 10th Class, and, more recently, Abaddam. Ramachandra Raju is an almost feudal landlord who rules over his family and his workers in a stern, paternal way. Caste and community are an important part of his moral compass. Mahalakshmi is his wife, and they have an apple-of-the-eye daughter, Nandini (Gayatri).

When Raju (Rajiv), the young son of one of Mahalakshmi's friends, is orphaned, he is taken into the zamindar's household, as a playmate and guardian to Nandini. Raju lives in a hut separate from the bungalow, but is in and out of the house all the time, and soon becomes an integral and indispensable part of Ramachandra Raju's staff.

Raju and Nandini grow up together, sharing each other's joys and sorrows. Flash forward to the teen years. Both children enter that "10th Class" phase of life, where they're tormenting each other but are actually very fond of each other etc. etc. Soon, in a not-very-subtle cinematic sequence, Nandini "grows up" and enters the langa voni stage.

Suddenly (a bit too suddenly, if you ask us), she discovers that she has other, less kindergarten-ish, and more corporeal feelings for Raju. She expends a lot of her time (and yours) and effort (thankfully, mostly hers) in trying to communicate this to the apparently 'tubelight' brain Raju, who just doesn't seem to get what's going on.

Even after Nandini tells Raju about her true feelings, he dissuades her, citing the difference in their social and economic status, and her father's attitude towards cross-caste marriages.

The inevitable drama plays itself out on screen, and ends in a fairly Romeo & Juliet manner. Oh, by the way, the notebook in the title of the movie has a fairly minimal role to play. It is a diary in which Nandini confides, and is used as a device to reveal the story of the love between her and Raju, after it's all over.

Notebook is unusual in that, 5 minutes into the movie, you can predict 80% of what will happen, including the ending (so no, you did not need a spoiler warning above). And if you are going to give away the plot right at the beginning, you had better make a truly exceptional film if you want to keep your audience interested in the rest of it.

There lies the rub - the film simply isn't compelling enough for you to give it your undivided attention over two and a half hours. There is a comedy track involving Raju's friends which is passable when it's not plain innuendo and double meaning. The music may hold its own against other soundtracks, but again it isn't going to make waves.

For a change, the male lead Rajiv doesn't need a palette of moods and emotions to be Raju. In contrast, Gayatri has to portray a character who grows from girlhood into womanhood, and whose feelings oscillate between affection, frustration, passion, tenderness and resignation. She does this with not inconsiderable aplomb for a debutant, even if it is a bit rough at the edges.

Ultimately, Notebook does manage to convey that the director/storyteller has something quite personal and important to tell his audience, but he loses his way somewhat in the narration. After all, it isn't every year that a Marocharitra or a Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak comes along. Notebook clearly isn't their counterpart for the 2000s.
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NOTEBOOK SNAPSHOT
Notebook (telugu) reviews
USER RATING
4.5
15 USERS
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  • Cast
    Rajiv, Gayatri
    1 user says this is wrong.
  • Music
    Mickey J. Meyers
    1 user says this is wrong.
  • Director
    Chandu
    1 user says this is wrong.
  • Theatres
    Not screening currently in any theatres in Hyderabad.
    1 user says this is wrong.
NOTEBOOK USER REVIEWS
1 - 6 OF 6 COMMENTS
POSITIVE  |  NEGATIVE |  NEWEST  |  OLDEST  |  MOST HELPFUL  |  LEAST HELPFUL
USER RATING
4.5
15 USERS
Performances
Script
Music/Soundtrack
Visuals
NA
NA
NA
NA
Can watch again - NA
Good for kids - NA
Good for dates - NA
Wait to rent it - NA
Pradeep on 13th Jun 2016, 8:42am | Permalink
Superb mv
Prakash Raj on 11th Feb 2007, 7:35pm | Permalink
hey Kris Ray, a vast gulf exists between a guy who understands and appreciates the diversity in taste, vision and perspective and someone who mistakes his tastelessness, visionlessness and perspectivelessness to be just another shade of aesthetics....it's the intellectualy dead-in-the-water audience like that who have actively contributed over the years to the deplorable standards of indian cinema and it's high time they learn to see the difference between the movies that deserve to be seen and the movies that can be seen even with your eyes shut....
RATING
2
Sukumar on 9th Feb 2007, 3:11pm | Permalink
well said SA, worth watching movie atleast for once.Superb direction & yes heroine is praise worthy.
RATING
8
S A on 8th Feb 2007, 7:14am | Permalink
Hi ! Every individual has his own way at looking at things and when I saw this movie, I was impressed by the way the Director has handelled this movie with the new commers. The strength for the movie is MUSIC. If there is any music lover who loves melody, please listen to this music and I am sure, you would purchase the Audio. The leads in this movie have definately given their best and to be honest, their performance is great. The picturization of this movie is simply AWSOME. I have recently been a Big Fan of Chandu and Micky who have been together from their first movie 10th Class and I would say the only -ve that these two could have done is Promotion. The Producer should have spent a bit more towards proper marketting of this movie. Same was the case in 10th class and the same is repeated now. There are many Big Movies in market which are really a Crap to watch and they are running only because of the Marketting. Though Notebook being a low budget movie, it has really set up high expectations and has made me a fan of Chandu and most importantly Micky. I am sure, those who watched 10th Class and Notebook would agree to my point. A Message to Chandu ::: Every director has his style of making a movie and I am sure, with the unique reputation you have in making films, you will definaly be recognized as one of the best directors in this industry. A Message to Micky :: With the way you are delivering the Music, I am sure, you would definateley be the # 1 and be equalent to the best music directors. I really cannot forget the music given by A.R, Harris and YOU (Micky). Good Luck for your future Projects.
RATING
8
Kris Ray on 6th Feb 2007, 5:29pm | Permalink
Hi Prakash Raj, if you say you are the only guy on earth who can “appreciate” and “define” what a Cinema is, it would sound like pure nonsense. Mr. Prakash Raj, just understand that everyone in this world has a different taste, opinion and vision towards different things. If you say your taste and opinion are the best (“Classics”) and every others’ are trash, then that thinking is mean. You have a right to have your opinion but you don’t have any right to say other’s opinions are crap.
RATING
2
Prakash Raj on 4th Feb 2007, 5:50pm | Permalink
Notebook must have been crap but so are Marocharitra and QSQT...i don't understand what is that paradigm u guys use to classify some of the shoddier movies of Indian film history that have set false standards for the next generation as 'classics'...90 out of 100 movie buffs wouldn't have heard of Satyajit Ray's 'Apur Sansar' but the same guys hail rubbish like 'sholay' as a classic...absurd...at least it's the responsibility of movie reviewers to right the enormous wrong done to indian cinema by so called 'classic directors' such as Raj Kapoor, Sippy or even subhash ghai or sooraj barajatya....these guys do not have a clue about what exactly a 'movie' is all about and had set 'false standards' for the generations to come... hailing them or their movies is not only an insult to the tremendously powerful media called 'cinema' but also abetting, reinforcing the terrible way our present filmmakers make their movies...it's high time our intellectualy dead audience wake up and broaden their vision and
perspective to appreciate the true art of filmmaking....
RATING
2
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