With the Drishyam wave slowly fading, there definitely comes a niche that needs to be filled in. I tried my luck with 7th Day and One By Two but was sorely disappointed. Moreover I have been longing for a feel good Malayalam movie ever since 2012. The last one I’d cherished so much was Ustad Hotel and the same guys have come up with a movie that deserves much more than an applause.
Bangalore Days from director and scribe Anjali Menon and produced by Ustad Hotel‘s Anwar Rasheed could be considered an epitome for ‘feel good’. Packed with so much energy and heart, Bangalore Days tells the story of 3 cousins whom, under circumstances, comes to Bangalore with dreams, big, and discovers the wonders of life the city holds for them. Like any Bangalore based Malayali I could instantly relate to the characters and that itself makes it a success. Whether it be a marketing ploy aimed at the large Malayali crowd here or the genuine intention to weave a good story in a this great city, it definitely works. Taking turns in effectively telling the intertwined stories of the characters, Bangalore Days assures a pleasant watch. It has everything going for it. AAA contemporary actors, well written characters, awe inspiring cinematography, good music a well paced narrative and chuckloads of humour. Not to mention the ton of Bangalore souvenirs thrown at you in almost every frame. From Nandi Hills and MG Road, to Namma Metro and Kormangala, its all there and any Malayali who’s been in Bangalore for an ample time will feel right at home.
The stellar cast is handled with so much ease by Anjali Menon and it seems even they are having as much fun as the audience. Nivin Pauly, Nazriya Nazim and Dulquer Salman shares an even screentime bringing in their own stories. While Nivin Pauly’s section promises chuckles aplenty, Nazriya and Fahad’s story takes on a wedlock drama and finally Dulquer and Parvati’s makes for a good romance. Fahad Fazil and Nazriya Nazim plays a married couple and its good to see the the soon-to-be-hitched couple create some great chemistry on screen. Nivin still proves that he’s good at playing your average guy next door and also handles comedy well. Of all the cast, I felt Dulquer Salman was still playing the same character from every other movie he’s played in. Agreed, this guy has got potential as evident from Ustad Hotel yet it feels he’s not given a bit of challenge in his roles. Parvati, fresh after her brilliant role in Maryan, blew me away. Commendable performances also comes from Kalpana and Vijayaraghavan (for that letter sequence, it had me in splits like most of the other elders among the audience who were trying hard to make a straight face throughout the sequence) I loved the humour in the movie, I forgot the last time I’d laughed so hard watching a Malayalam movie. Nods to the blockbusters of the yesteryear also made for a fun addition.
Gopi Sundar’s score once again brings in a refreshing feel. Songs like Thudakkam Mangalyam kicks in the festive mood and other songs are all remarkably good to the ear, hope to see it all soon in Gopi’s Sound Cloud channel. My one single qualm was the use of a heavily modified Requiem For a Dream score (original composition by Clint Mansell) amidst some Dulquer scenes. I mean why? Gopi Sunder has proved himself to be a skilled composer, then why the plagiarism? It’d most likely be passed off with an ‘inspired from’ but still “WHY?”. Sameer Thahir’s cinematography will make you fall in love with the city. Colors seeps in from every other frame and it all made for a visually rich experience.
Bangalore Days works a bit like An American Dream, while in real life most of the Malayalis would be stuck in cubicles, this is what they’d really dream of. Yes, it still feels a bit too glorified for an average Bangalore Malayali yet it still feels good. 10 years from now, I’d watch this again for a whiff of sweet sweet sweet nostalgia. I just can’t recommend this enough. Kudos to Anjali Menon and the cast for making it a beautiful affair.