Bangalore Days is the new film from writer-director Anjali Menon, whose first film, Manjadikuru, was quite successful on the film festival circuit. It is the story of three cousins, Kuttan (the really, really, ridiculously good looking Nivin Pauly), Arjun (the also easy on the eyes Dulquer Salmaan), and Divya (cutie-pie Nazriya Nazim). Kuttan is a traditionally-minded young man whose more aspirational parents have sent him to Bangalore to work in IT. Ambitious Divya’s dream to pursue an MBA is crushed when she is hastily married off to corporate executive Das (Fahadh Faasil) and moves with him to Bangalore. With both his cousins living in Bangalore, Arjun, who has the only-in-the-movies profession of graffiti artist/mechanic/motocross racer, elects to join them there. The movie follows their lives and loves over the subsequent months.
Kuttan, who thought he wanted an equally traditional young woman for a wife, instead finds himself falling for the sophisticated flight attendant Meenakshi (Isha Talwar). He also has to come to terms when a disruption in his immediate family threatens his beloved ancestral home. Divya’s marriage to Das quickly takes a turn for the worse, overshadowed by the memory of his previous girlfriend (Nithya Menen). And Arjun falls for Sarah (Parvathy – unrecognizable from the last time I saw her in Maryan), a radio ‘jockey’, but when he impulsively shows up at the radio station to meet her, he discovers something about her that shakes his confidence.
I honestly don’t have a bad thing to say about Bangalore Days. Even a hilariously filmi plot twist in the second half made me feel more amused than annoyed. The movie is almost three hours long, but the time just flew by, and not once did I feel bored, or like a scene was dragging on for too long. Anjali Menon has assembled a stellar cast of young actors, and has drawn good performances out of all of them (even Isha Talwar, the weakest of the bunch, has her moments). The cinematography rises above the pedestrian, but avoids being too self-consciously “artsy” – although the movie does include what must be the most artistically shot motocross race ever committed to film. The songs, while not hugely memorable, are at least well-integrated into the film. If you are already a fan of contemporary Malayalam films, I think you will be very pleased with Bangalore Days. And if you have yet to watch a Malayalam film, Bangalore Days is a great place to start.