Notebook Review: Salman Khan backed Zaheer Iqbal and Pranutan Bahl starrer is all about old school romance

Notebook starring debutantes Zaheer Iqbal and Pranutan Bahl, produced by Salman Khan Films, celebrates old school romance. Read full review inside.
Notebook Review: Salman Khan backed Zaheer Iqbal and Pranutan Bahl starrer is all about old school romance Notebook Review: Salman Khan backed Zaheer Iqbal and Pranutan Bahl starrer is all about old school romance
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Movie: Notebook
Director: Nitin Kakkar 
Cast: Zaheer Iqbal, Pranutan Bahl
Ratings: 2.5/5
Love letters, personal diaries, are all a thing in history today. While we all love hearing endless love sagas, wish to experience old school romance, everyone is too busy pursuing their mundane life. Amid this millennial chaos, both professional and personal, Salman Khan presents an interesting love story set in Kashmir. The movie allows love to brew via text in a Notebook while highlighting several key issues, education being one of them. Notebook chronicles around Kabir Kaul (Zaheer Iqbal) who is tricked into teaching in a school started by his late father, where on a hand count 5 students were admitted. In an isolated school located right in the middle of a lake, Kabir stumbles upon a diary written by Firdaus (Pranutan Bahl), who previously taught in the same school. 
As Kabir struggled to make peace with the kids initially, it is her diary which propels him to make those kids his own. In lows and high, Firdaus unknowingly becomes the voice in his head which tugged at his heart in a way no one else did. Like a Romeo, Kabir considers her his soulmate till he finds out she has a fiance but that doesn't stop him from loving her. Following her statutory warning of "thanking the universe", Kabir innocently later even confessed of her becoming his universe. Incidentally, later he becomes the ray of sunshine in her life. How? Well, that is for you to explore but let us add that the twist is predictable, like any other Bollywood movie. 
However, director Nitin Kakkar has managed to add life to an otherwise ordinary script with the help of some beautiful picturesque landscape. However, the music of the movie falls flat. Though it might go with the rhythm of the story, the album doesn't have a single stand-alone hit. Also, the Bumbro track is a stark reminder of Hrithik Roshan and Preity Zinta starrer Mission Kashmir's track by the same name. 
Coming to Zaheer and Pranutan, both debutantes manage to surprise with their relatively honest performance. It took Zaheer a few scenes to make me invest in Kabir but once done, his innocence and earnest performance made him likable. Pranutan, daughter of Mohnish Bahl and granddaughter of legendary actress Nutan, too makes you root for Firdaus and her relationship with the kids but the best moments in the movie are with kids who add life to every scene they are a part of. Apart from bringing back the old school romance, which you perhaps read in books, the movie also switches plot from highlight the issue of Kashmiri students being deprived of education and moving to violence.
Very subtly, Notebook tries to show the plight of Kashmiris and the kids there who are made to confront the harsh realities of the region. But in the end, love triumphs everything. Though we appreciate the subtle message, the mention of Kashmiri Pandits and history of Kabir's parents felt forced and unnecessary. Given the social age we live in, such love stories are hard to resonate with but nonetheless, for those who believe in destined love stories, Notebook might work for you! 
Statutory Warning: Go without any expectations and you will be left surprised. 

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