29 August 2014 | rajesh-ravindran
A Love-Hate Story; Loved the Bangalore, Hated the "Days"
No, its not a bad movie, but its definitely not worth the hype. First things first, the movie is blessed with an awesomely energetic cast. The first 20 minutes were a breeze, thanks to the lightheartedness, the mockery of our Nair Tharavadus and Nivin Pauly, this despite that wedding song (Thun thuna ney na... and than thana ney na... where do you come up with such deep lyrics I wonder!). It feels like Anjali Menon is picking up from where she left us at the end of "Manjadikuru", letting us know what happened to those cousins as they grew up.
The movie follows three (and a half) different story arcs of the three (and a half) main leads connected by their intermittent get-together at Rasta Cafe (I give it to them for their will to drive 50 KMs routinely through the Bangalore traffic for some coffee).
Dulquer plays the cool dude, the biker, the rebel, the go-to guy, the RJ stalker among other things with a look that has become quite a regular with him now. He might soon start getting type cast. But then he carries it off so well. Nivin plays the simpleton trying to get along with the city life. However caricaturish the role and performance, I just loved the character and this was the track I liked the most. Nasriya plays the lighthearted girl who gets into an arranged marriage way too early and to someone who doesn't make it easy, played seamlessly well by Fahad, despite the boring/unconvincing character (and that's where we get the half character and story arc).
Of the 2 other main characters, Parvathy gets a meaty role and plays it to perfection, while Isha gets a role that suits her very well - of looking good and breaking hearts (with none of the innocence of her earlier role in a thattum). And then there is Kalpana who cracks us up in the second half and of course Vijayaraghavan in that one scene where he is only heard...brilliant! Nithya Menon in her cameo is, well, BAD and yes, it does breaks my heart to say that.
Despite the superficiality, the movie entertains in parts, but not as a whole. It stretches so, especially the Nasriya-Fahad track which is the least convincing and boring. Dulquer's track is predictable till the entry of Parvathy Menon. She has a very interesting character to play and without giving away any spoilers, keeps things from going downhill. Coming to the highlight of the movie (to me), its Kuttan, played by Nivin Pauly. That innocent, simpleton who finds it almost impossible to get along with the new lifestyle, the one who gawks at people kissing in public, but can't accept it. The reason behind the mallu hypocrisy which many fail to see.
The movie handles the arranged marriage, the transition of a naive young boy to the city lifestyle and such nuances very well. Music is just about good, the background score though should not have been so obviously plagiarized. Scenes and locations are great, after all, the movie focuses on good looking faces and places. Like my cousin's 5-year old said, "Wow! No garbage on Bangalore roads!!!" You need some serious cinematography talent or CGI to achieve that.
At the end, Bangalore Days, ends up being a Malayalam movie in Bollywood format, a "Dil Chahta Hai" for us. You got the multi star cast, you got the good looking people and locations, you even got the wedding song and dance... its got the works. A"Karan Johar"-ization of Malayalam cinema (of course at a much better quality). You know the kind, where someone, who is seemingly an entry level employee at an IT services firm (which has a training center at Mysore...now which one was that?) but lives in a fully furnished Confident group ka flat, all ALONE (no roommates and no scope to share rent). He hasn't even been onsite yet!! Since when did they start paying so well??? Come on guys, please set realistic expectations. Anjali Menon, you should make more responsible movies. Now, how am I gonna explain to my relatives that we don't live like that here! Finally, did I like the movie? Well, I've got a love-hate thing going for "Bangalore Days". Loved that someone attempted a decent "Dedication to Bangalore from a Malayalee" and Hated that they deviated mid way. Loved the cousin camaraderie and Bangalore parts, Hated that it turned into a candy-floss, cliché' ridden, Bollywood-ization of Malayalam Cinema. Loved the Nivin Pauly character and the half-decent Dulquer track, but absolutely Hated the Nasria story.