Jun 1, 2014

Movie Review: Bangalore Days

Wow, ever since a bad incident six years ago when I had to manhandle a guy who took advantage of releasing-weekend crowds, I had given up going to any movie's first few days' shows. Result: I missed some good movies like Anjali Menon's Manchadikkuru, Madhupal's Ozhimuri etc. and had to wait a long time to get the DVDs.

Bangalore Days, anyway, will not suffer the ignominious fate of being thrown out of movie theaters before a week is up. As we were all looking forward to Anjali Menon's latest, I decided to make an exception for my own rule. We caught the late show of the movie at the nearest theater on the day of its release! The crowd was huge for the late-night show, the theater was housefull.

The nothing-given-away plot summary: Kuttan (Nivin), Divya (Nazriya) and Arjun (Dulquer) are cousins who have been playmates since childhood. Arjun and Kuttan have made their way to Bangalore and when Divya is married to Das (Fahadh), all three cousins achieve their childhood ambition of settling in Bangalore, their dream city. But the cousins soon find that things are not as smooth in their dream city as they believed it would be...

It's difficult to give Bangalore Days a single adjective that will encompass the whole movie. We all laughed till our eyes were wet. Then we all cried till our smiles dawned once again. The movie has to be seen to be believed. The characters may have been seen before - we have all seen Kuttans, Arjuns, Saras (Parvathy),  Meenakshis (Isha Talwar) and even Michelles (nameless-to-me) - they are common enough. But it is the way in which they are blended together in a tapestry of love and hate that the movie becomes a thing of beauty, to be watched again and again, ad nauseam.

Although it is essentially a story of youngsters, the elders also play notable roles - be it Kuttan's mother (Kalpana, in a lovely humorous role she handles very well) who blossoms in unforeseen ways, Divya's hidebound parents (Maniyan Pillai Raju and Praveena) who decide that an astrologer's prediction is more important than their daughter's dreams or Natasha's (Nithya Menon) embittered parents played by Pratap Pothen and Vinaya Prasad and Sara's ambitious mother (Rekha) who wants only the best for her daughter. We have seen the likes of these characters as well - but not like this and we cannot but empathize with each of them.

The last time I went to Bangalore, I saw lots of traffic jams, construction of the metro going on everywhere and a general breakdown of infrastructure in several parts of the city. Which makes me wish I had gone with Sameer Thahir and Anjali Menon. Together they take the best of the city and make it appear a dream destination that everyone aspires to. The picturization of the final bike race has such a dreamlike quality that was calming and exhilarating at the same time.

The whole cast does an exemplary job. Fahad takes on a partly unsavory character and comes out brilliantly. Dulquer has us rooting for him all the way. Nazriya and Nivin handle their roles with consummate ease. Parvathy is a revelation - this girl has come a long way since her half-baked initial performances. 

A highlight of the movie was the incredible montage of childhood pics of the three central characters in the intro. It was enthralling, to say the least.

But the movie is causing me some deep disappointment: There is nothing to find fault with!!!!

Final verdict: Paisa vasool, time vasool, even lost-sleep vasool (and that's an encomium very, very few movies can hope to earn from me!) Go ahead and book your tickets, you won't regret it!!!

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