October is a 2018 Indian Hindi-language coming-of-age film directed by Shoojit Sircar, and produced by Ronnie Lahiri and Sheel Kumar under their Rising Sun Films banner. The film stars Varun Dhawan, Banita Sandhu, and Gitanjali Rao. Both Sandhu and Rao debuted as actors with this film. Written by Juhi Chaturvedi and shot by Avik Mukhopadhyay, the film follows the life of a hotel-management intern who takes care of his comatose fellow intern in an unconditional and unconventional manner. October earned six nominations at the 64th Filmfare Awards including Best Supporting Actress for Rao and Best Actor Critics for Dhawan.
Initially scheduled to release on 1 June 2018, the film was released on 13 April 2018, grossing over ₹ 54.74 crore worldwide. Upon its release, the filmmakers were accused of plagiarising Aarti – The Unknown Love Story, a Marathi film directed by Sarika Mene. Screenwriters Association reviewed the case and found some similarities between the two films. However, it cleared October of plagiarism charges as the real-life events that likely inspired both the films were not protected by copyright laws.
Shiuli Iyer and Danish “Dan” Walia work as interns at the same hotel. Shiuli, being very disciplined and responsible towards her job, is the polar opposite of Dan who is careless and irresponsible towards his job. Towards the beginning of the story, Dan struggles with his job serving various departments of the hotel. He doesn’t seem to have a very good relationship with his fellow staff members except for two of his friends who work at the same hotel as interns.
On New Year’s Eve, Shiuli and her friends party on the 4th floor of the hotel, when Dan is nowhere to be found. Shiuli accidentally slips off and is hospitalized. While other members of the hotel staff visit her at the hospital, Dan gets seriously affected when his friends tell him that Shiuli’s last words just before her fall were “Where is Dan?”. Dan starts visiting the hospital every day, despite that negatively affecting both his job and his relationship with his friends who cover his shifts and help him financially. After a scuffle at the hotel, Dan is terminated. He finds comfort being with Shiuli who slowly starts to improve and Dan’s mere presence calms Shiuli. He devotes his entire time to taking care of her.
Seeing Dan’s career and personal life drowning due to his devotion towards Shiuli, her mother Vidya decides to make him go and take care of himself. Dan joins another hotel in Kullu as manager, but is unable to take his mind off Shiuli. Soon he learns of Shiuli’s failing health, and visits the hospital. He apologises for leaving her abruptly and promises to stay with her. Seeing Dan, Shiuli calms and begins to improve again. She is soon discharged from the hospital and is brought home where Dan continues taking care of her. He takes her to a park and asks her about why she remembered him before her fall. Shiuli responds by trying to say his name aloud. The following night Shiuli suffers a seizure and dies as her lungs collapsed. Emotionally broken, Dan visits Shiuli’s home and comforts her despaired family. Several months later, Dan is rehired by the hotel where he completes his diploma and works as a sous chef.
One day, he notices several missed calls and visits Vidya. They sit in the backyard discussing Shiuli. Pointing at the shiuli plant in the backyard, Vidya tells Dan that she was named Shiuli because of her fondness for the shiuli flower, which she loved collecting as a child. Vidya tells Dan about her family shifting to their hometown Trichy. She doesn’t wish to leave Shiuli’s plant, but Dan assures her that he would take care of it.
As the story ends, Shiuli’s family has moved and Dan carries the shiuli plant with him, as a symbol of the unconditional and unconventional love which had blossomed in his heart for Shiuli.
Varun Dhawan – Danish “Dan” Walia, a hotel management trainee and career-oriented person
Shiuli flower as seen in the film’s logo
Banita Sandhu – Shiuli Iyer, Dan’s subordinate trainee, named after the flower Shiuli, because of her fondness for it, by her mother.
Gitanjali Rao – Prof. Vidya Iyer, Shiuli’s mother, a professor of IIT Delhi
Sahil Vedoliyaa – Manjeet, Dan’s roommate
Ashish Ghosh – Dr. Ghosh
Isha Chaturvedi – Ishani, a fellow intern of Dan and Shiuli
Prateek Kapoor – Asthana, supervisor of the interns at the hotel where they are understudies
Shekhar Murugan – Jairam Iyer, Shiuli’s paternal Uncle
Karamveer Kanwar – Kunal Iyer, Shiuli’s younger brother
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