This week’s big Bollywood release, Notebook, has Salman Khan launching two debutantes – Zaheer Iqbal and Pranutan Bahl – in his production. According to early estimates, the film took off to a decent start at the box office and earned around Rs 1.5-2 crore on its opening day.
Directed by acclaimed filmmaker Nitin Kakkar, Notebook is based on the Thai film A Teacher’s Diary. It tells the story of Kabir, an ex-army officer, who comes to teach in a dilapidated school in Kashmir which has just seven students. He discovers the diary left behind by the previous teacher Firdaus, and falls irrevocably in love with her, after reading her story.
Notebook has received largely positive reviews from critics. If the unusual storyline piqued the interest of the audience, the beautiful cinematography and mellifluous songs also garnered attention.
India Today critic Charu Thakur gave Notebook 2.5 out of 5 stars and praised the performances of Zaheer and Pranutan. “The new kids on the block do not disappoint with their launch vehicle. Keeping with the simplicity of their characters, Pranutan and Zaheer bring out the innocence they are required to. With almost no scenes with each other till the very end, the chemistry is very much missing, but they end up putting up a good show with their individual share of screen time. Pranutan and Zaheer are here to stay,” she wrote in her review.
Zaheer revealed in an interview with Mail Today that Notebook has a social message as well. “Movies are the best medium where you can put your message forward, like we have done in the Notebook. Without being preachy, the film offers a subtle message. It’s important to make films like that,” he said.
Notebook is expected to pick up over the weekend, owing to positive reviews and word of mouth.