Friday, March 5, 2021

Bangalore Days

This film was just supposed to be one paragraph on a larger theme, but it has been so engrossing I would like to specifically recommend this one for those who like such things as a well constructed movie with a happy ending.    It was a cross between a dramatic and comedic romance.  To me there was a unique twist which I won't reveal as well as the usual complications in romances.  There was also a play between modernism and tradition.  Available through Prime, the dialogue is in Malayalam with subtitles.

A young woman is coerced into meeting a prospective groom, although neither feels ready.   A plot tool is used to change their minds and later occurs for another slightly different change of heart.  She has two close male cousins, one of whom already lives in Bangalore (the destination of the newlyweds) and the other is keen for new adventures with his two youthful companions.  The groom is polite and considerate, but not too interested in consummating the relationship.  The three cousins entertain each other to the annoyance of the husband.  The adventuresome cousin turns out to be a motocross competitor who has been banned from racing for a year.  In a round about way he learns about the groom's history and tells the bride.  He meets a woman who gained his interest as a radio host but isn't what he expected.  Complications of course neatly and somewhat uniquely resolved. 

Writer/director Anjali Menon actually grew up in Kerala, but spent part of childhood in Dubai, finished high school in Kerala and later studied television production and joined the London Film School.  An early film, she wrote was, "Hotel Ustad" (2012).  She went on to adapt a script from the Marathi original, write and produce "Koode" (2018) another well worth watching movie.

Gopi Sundar has over 140 credits as a film composer and has served as a music director and playback singer.  Some of his films include "Uyare" (2017), "Chennai Express" (2013), "Pulimurugan" (2016), and "Take-off" (2017). 

Cinematography was handled by Sameer Thahir who has also been directing, writing and co-producing "Sudani from Nigeria" (2018).

Editing done by Praveen Prabhakar had also edited "Ustad Hotel" and "Koode."

Sophia Paul,  co-producer  this was her first film but has since gone onto produce more Malayalam films.

Anwar Rasheed, the other co-producer had directed "Ustad Hotel."  This was also his first film as a producer and gone on to produce 4 more films.

Actress  Nazriya Nazim played the main character who got married, moved to Banglore where she was joined by two cousin.  She played a twist I have never seen before.  She won best actress award for this role from the Kerala State Film Awards.  She went on to produce "C U Soon" (2020) and "Kumbalangi Nights" (2019).

Niven Pauly plays one of the three cousins who works in software in Bangalore, but is looking for a traditional Malayi girl.   He has over 40 actor credits since 2010 and has started getting involved with producing.

Dulquer Salmaan  played the adventuresome cousin.  In real life he is a son of the famous Mammootty.  Schooled in Kerala, Chennai and graduated from Purdue University.  His first film was "Hotel Ustad" for which he won a debut award.  Others of his films include "OK Kanmani" (2015), "Charlie" (2015) and "Solo" (2017).  He is also a director of the Bangalore based Motherhood Hospital

Fahadh Faasil played the groom.   He started his film career with a head start as his father was a Malayalam director and gave him a role at age 19 in 2002.  Unfortunately it was a commercial failure and Fahadh opted to complete his education in the United States.  He made his comeback in 2009 with "Kerala Cafe."  Since then he has been very busy with films including:  "Take Off" (2017),  "Njan Prakashan" (2018),  "Super Deluxe" (2019,) "Kumalangi Nights" (2019)) and "C U Soon" (2020).

Parvathy Thiruvothu has become one of my favorite actresses.  Some of her films include  "Qarib Qarib Single" (2017), "Take Off (2017) "Uyare" (2019) and "Virus" (2019).  My most recent blog on one of her movies, http://www.therealjohndavidson.com/2021/02/take-off-brutality-in-tikrit.html

As part of my background research I watched two other movies written by Anjali Menon with some of the same cast and crew.  " Hotel Ustad" (2012), "Koode" (2018) were each excellent films and I am looking forward to future films involving these people.   All these films are part of a bigger project on Malayalam cinema which should appear in another week or so.

As I like to do I have bolded the movies I have seen for the first listing.

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